Author Topic: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature  (Read 4475 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 497
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« on: February 01, 2023, 01:06:47 pm »
We are looking at doing the KATY Trail the first week in June this year. I know that flooding can be an issue and with recent climate changes 5 year old trip logs are starting to become irrelevant in regards to weather and temperature. Are there any locals here that would like to chime in. I consider anything over 80 oppressive heat  :D

Don't mind getting wet for a day or two but all week kind of sucks. Plus on most rail trails having to detour due to flooding usually means step climbs to get out of those wonderful long flat valleys.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline jamawani

Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2023, 06:08:37 pm »
HBC -

No, precipitation records, historic river levels, and other climate records remain the best resource.
And the geography hasn't changed.

The Upper Missouri receives most of its flow from the Northern Rockies.
Snow pack is the best predictor. Snow melt varies from year to year.
Early hot temps, esp. combined with heavy rain can prouce a huge surge as in 2011.

The Middle Missouri was dammed (or damned) under the Pick-Sloan Program in the 1950s and 1960s.
These reservoirs receive the Upper Missouri flow plus snow and rain runoff from the Northern Plains.
This region often receives half its annual precip in May & June - with the peak around June 1.

The three major tributaries of the Lower Missouri are the Platte, the Kansas, and the Osage.
Only the Platte has Rocky Mountain headwaters - plus, its waters are grabbed by Denver metro and agriculture.
All three rivers can rise rapidly during heavy spring rain runoff, but they also have major reservoirs.

Floods like in 2011 are a 100-year occurance.
Plus, dam management that spring was questionable.
Everybody knew the snowpack was huge - and then big rains came on top of it.
Of course, many areas of the Plains are semi-arid and the farmers don't was to release water.
Especially if the reservoir ends up never getting filled.
It's a crap shoot with pressure to store as much water as possible.
So, in 2011 the ACE folks were caught with their pants down.

I'd still use the climate records -
Although the Great Plains have a highly variable climate - one of the most variable in the world.
In the late 1800s, homesteaders were told the "Rain follows the plow."
http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.ii.049
Well, there was a nice wet decade - - followed by ten years of drought.
And most of the homesteaders went belly up.

Also, the MKT / Katy Railroad between St Louis and Kansas was notorious for flooding.
Even when it was still a railroad.  Nice to be next to the river, but ....
You can do Highway 94 - but it has killer goathills. I know.
Back in 1987, I though it would be flat because it follows the river on a map.
Hah! Granny gear to big ring 100 times a day.

You should plan on rain since early June is the peak precipitation period.
It's just that the quantity is hard to predict - a little, a lot, or biblical.

https://www.weather.gov/eax/monthlypcpn

Have a nice trip!  Jama

Offline HikeBikeCook

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 497
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2023, 10:08:45 am »
Thanks for the detailed response jamawani -

I did use this table https://www.discoverstcharles.com/plan-your-visit/about-the-area/weather/ which showed June with less rain than May or July. June is also less hot than July and August. September looks really good, but that is a busy month for us and I have a long backpacking trip planned for the fall. I guess we will see how the Spring weather shapes up on the flooding threat and adjust from there.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline ray b

Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2023, 07:55:05 pm »
Well done Jama.
Correct on all counts.

Based in St. Louis, I use the Katy for rehab rides.

I've never adapted well to the heat and humidity, which often persists from mid-May to October.

Although not all the trailside amenities are available "off-season," I've had my most refreshing rides in October and November.

If you aren't tied to school vacations, a great time of year to be on one of the grand rail-to-trail efforts.

A nice loop can be had on the Katy heading west, then swinging north to pick up the Lewis and Clark trail to head back to St. Louis.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2023, 09:16:33 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline jamawani

Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2023, 08:12:06 pm »
Environmental History, KU in Lawrence
Studied under Donald Worster who has done incredible work on rivers.

First two weeks of October are sweet on the Katy.
Leaves have gotten later and later over the past 35 years.
But the humidity is down, highs are in the 60s & 70s, and there's much less rain.
Mid spring - late April - is so unpredictable - warm then cold - lots of rain.
Plus it's storm season - perfect time to visit Oz.

Offline ray b

Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2023, 09:18:37 pm »
 :D
Agreed. Late April can on occasion make for great adventure.... I've always wanted to visit Oz.
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline RossKB

Re: KATY Trail in June - Flooding and temperature
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2023, 11:38:28 am »
Jamawani, Environmental history with Donald Worster!  Wow--it doesn't get any better than that.  Though of course environmental history and bicycle touring is another great combination!
Ross