Cooler temps, widespread rain move through region

KIMBALL, Neb. – A shifting high pressure ridge allowed cooler air and some precipitation to flow into the tri-state region over the last week.
At Kimball air temperatures dropped about six degrees and afternoon thunderstorms delivered slightly more than one-half inch of much appreciated precipitation. Thunderstorms around the Panhandle distributed additional rain throughout the week and most locations received moisture.
Although average rainfall was less than an inch across most of the Panhandle, the moisture that did arrive certainly boosted warm season grass production and reinvigorated spring-planted crops.

Regional Forecast and Conditions
As of Tuesday morning, the temperature at sunrise was 59 degrees under clear skies. The day was expected to be sunny and seasonably warm with a high temperature of 88 degrees. Wednesday-Friday daytime temperatures were expected to be cooler, with highs climbing only into the low-80’s, with an increased chance of widespread thunderstorms across the region. Saturday-Wednesday daily high temperatures were forecast to reach into the mid-80’s, with overnight lows falling into the mid-50’s. Skies are expected to be mostly clear over the next week with a still-present but reduced chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Little widespread precipitation is forecast.
Air temperatures cooled across the region last week. At Kimball the July 25-31 daytime high averaged 87.42 degrees, about 6 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 94 degrees on July 25. Overnight lows averaged 62 degrees, about one-half degree warmer than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 59 degrees on July 30. The weekly mean temperature was 74.71 degrees, about 3 degrees cooler than the previous week, and about 3 degrees warmer than the July average of 71.8. The long term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for July are 87.4 and 56.1 degrees, respectively.
All 13 Panhandle stations reported precipitation over the July 25-31 period, ranging from 3.25 at Hemingford to 0.01 at Harrisburg and Sidney Municipal. Panhandle precipitation averaged 0.70 inches compared to 0.34 inches last week.
Panhandle soil temperatures cooled slightly over the July 25-31 period: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 76.5/81.0 (-5.5) degrees; Gordon 77.9/78.7 (-0.8) degrees; Mitchell 79.2/82.9 (-10.7) degrees; Scottsbluff 79.7/82.1 (-2.4); and Sidney 81.7/86.5 (-4.8) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged east-southeasterly and mostly light over the July 25-31 period. Gusts for the week averaged 29.28 mph. High gust for the week was 37 mph on July 27.

Aug. 4 Weather Almanac
Here’s an overview of Aug. 4 temperature and precipitation highs, lows, and averages over the preceding 123 years at Kimball. Data is taken from the High Plains Regional Climate Center (, where you can easily find and track data for your own
particular location.
Last year: Daily high temperature 93 degrees, overnight low 59 degrees, average temperature 76 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest Aug. 4 on record was 101 degrees in 1960. The coolest high temperature was 57 degrees in 1978. The coldest overnight low was 44 degrees in 1980. The warmest overnight low was 66 degrees in 1960. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on has averaged 85 degrees, the overnight low 56 degrees, the daily average 70.8 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.08 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The greatest precipitation total was 1.00 inches in 1923.

July weather almanac
Average 7 a.m. conditions: temperature 63.54 degrees, winds south-southeasterly at 5.32 mph, barometer 30.17.
Average daily high temperature 90.71 degrees (123 year average 87.4). Average daily low temperature 58.9 degrees (123YA 56.1). Daily average temperature 74.81 degrees (123YA 71.8). Total liquid precipitation 1.59 inches (123YA 2.55). Year to date (YTD) precipitation 10.54 inches (123YA 11.71). Total snowfall 0.0 inches (123YA 0.00). YTD snow 19.81 inches (123YA 26.4).
Departures: Daily High, +3.31 degrees; Daily Low, +2.8 degrees; Daily Average, +3.01 degrees; Total Liquid Precipitation, -0.96 inches; YTD precipitation -1.17 inches. Total Snow, 0.00. YTD snow -6.59 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor
The High Plains: As of July 25, half an inch or more of rain fell across parts of the Dakotas over the week, but the rain did little to improve drought conditions, only holding off drought expansion or intensification. D0-D3 were pulled back in parts of South Dakota where rainfall amounts totaled 2 inches or more, D0 was pulled back in southeast North Dakota and southwest Minnesota, and D0-D1 were pulled back in parts of north central and south central Nebraska and north central Kansas.
Expansion occurred in other parts of the region. Much of Montana and parts of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas had no rain this week; some areas have been drier than normal for the last 2 to 3 months; and some drought indicators reflect dryness for the last 12 months.
D3-D4 were expanded in northeast Montana, and D3 expanded in northwest South Dakota and was added in southeast South Dakota, where the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was consistently at those dry levels for the last 1 to 9 months. D1-D4 expanded in northwest North Dakota where the SPI was consistently at those dry levels for the last 1-6 months. D0-D2 expanded across much of Nebraska, with collateral expansion of D1-D2 in adjacent South Dakota, D1 in adjacent Iowa, and D0-D1 in southeast Wyoming, and D0 expanded in parts of eastern Kansas and northeast Colorado, due to 30-90 day precipitation deficits and high evapotranspiration caused by excessive heat.
Governors provided much-needed response to the dire drought impacts. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock issued an executive order declaring a drought disaster in 28 counties and five Indian reservations in the eastern part of the state. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an emergency proclamation, allowing the state Emergency Management Agency to address unmet drought needs, particularly those related
to wildfires.
According to USDA reports from July 23, 92 percent of the topsoil moisture and 88 percent of the subsoil moisture were rated short or very short in Montana, 82 percent/81 percent of the topsoil/subsoil moisture was short or very short in South Dakota, 71 percent/66 percent in Nebraska, 67 percent/62 percent in North Dakota, 61 percent/58 percent in Wyoming, and 45 percent/41 percent in Colorado.
More than half of the pasture and rangeland were rated in poor to very poor condition in North Dakota (75 percent), South Dakota (73 percent), and Montana (56 percent). In South Dakota, 37 percent of the corn crop, 34 percent of soybeans, 57 percent of sorghum, and 76 percent of the spring wheat were in poor to very poor condition. In North Dakota, 23 percent of the corn crop and 39 percent of the spring wheat were in poor to very poor condition. In Montana, 55 percent of the spring wheat was in poor to very poor condition.
According to media reports, as of July 25, the Lodgepole Complex wildfire in Montana was the largest wildfire in the CONUS.

National Summary: An upper-level ridge of high pressure maintained its grip across the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week. The ridge kept temperatures warmer than normal from coast to coast, with the highest temperature departures from the High Plains to Mid-Atlantic States.
Weather systems moving in the jet stream flow rode over the top of the ridge, taking their surface lows and Pacific fronts along a northerly track into a trough over the eastern CONUS where they stalled out across the Midwest.
Showers and thunderstorms developed as the fronts moved across the northern Plains and into the Midwest, but rainfall amounts were mostly below normal.
Above-normal precipitation fell in places along the North Dakota/South Dakota border, from northeast South Dakota to northern Illinois, from the Ohio Valley to Mid-Atlantic States, and across parts of Nebraska and Kansas.
Above-normal precipitation fell across parts of the southern Plains to Southeast as afternoon heating triggered convective storms, and a front near the end of the week
sagged south.
The Southwest Monsoon continued this week, bringing above-normal precipitation to much of the 4-Corners States and contracting drought and abnormal dryness.
Drier-than-normal weather dominated the rest of the West, most of the Plains, much of the Midwest and South, and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and New England.
Soils continued to dry out and crops suffered as drought and abnormal dryness continued to expand or intensify across the Plains, Midwest, northern Rockies, and Virginia.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit:

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report

As of Aug. 1, rain was reported in many parts of the country, with the greatest concentration of showers arcing across the Plains from the Southwest into the Southeast.
Significant rain bypassed the south-central U.S., where mostly dry weather was accompanied by late-week heat.
Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 5 degrees above normal in many locations from the Pacific Coast to the Plains, except in areas that were cooled by clouds and showers associated with the monsoon circulation.
Cool air settled across the Midwest and Northeast—eventually reaching most areas from the Mississippi Valley eastward. Autumn-like conditions cloaked New England, where weekly temperatures averaged at least 5 degrees below normal.
Another late-week development was the arrival of heavy rain across the northern Mid-Atlantic region, where totals of 2 to 6 inches were common.
Substantial showers also dotted the Southwest and neighboring areas, largely due to robust monsoon showers.
In contrast, little or no rain fell in the Pacific Coast States and across the nation’s northern tier as far east as the upper Great Lakes region.
Parts of the Midwest were also bypassed by spotty showers, leaving some pesky dry pockets in the western Corn Belt.
Elsewhere, a few locations on the drought-stricken northern Plains benefited from widely scattered showers, but most areas continued to suffer from a lack of soil moisture and corresponding poor rangeland, pastures, and crop conditions.

USDA Weather and Crop Reports

Widespread monsoonal moisture was received across the state this past week, improving rangeland and crop conditions. Fieldwork was halted in areas where precipitation was
the heaviest.
In northwestern counties, reporters noted rain has improved dry conditions, but stalled hay harvest this past week.
Reporters in northeastern counties noted that while rain was beneficial, many areas are still suffering due to prolonged heat and lack of precipitation. Several dryland spring crop fields are noted to be very uneven and decreased production is a concern.
East central counties also received good moisture in areas this week, with others remaining dry.
In southwestern counties, good moisture was received, but delayed winter wheat harvest and the second cutting of alfalfa.
In the San Luis Valley, reporters noted heavy rain was received in areas with localized flooding. The rain delayed swathing and baling of second cutting alfalfa where wettest.
In southeastern counties, a reporter noted up to four inches of rain fell in areas, while other localities received none. Hay harvest was also impeded in these areas due to rain.
Statewide, winter wheat harvest was nearing completion by week’s end and was on par with the average and last year.
Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 86 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus.
Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 56 percent average, and 42 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 65 percent average, and 34 percent light.
For the week ending July 30, temperatures averaged near normal. Significant rainfall of an inch or more was received across most of the State. A few north central counties received as much as four inches of rain.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 22 percent very short, 40 short, 38 adequate, and 0 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 19 percent very short, 41 short, 40 adequate, and 0 surplus.
Winter wheat harvest was completed for majority of the State. There were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn condition rated 4 percent very poor, 10 poor, 25 fair, 47 good, and 14 excellent. Corn silking was 91 percent, near 93 last year and 90 for the five-year average. Dough was 17 percent, behind 23 last year and 25 average.
Soybean condition rated 4 percent very poor, 9 poor, 27 fair, 52 good, and 8 excellent. Soybeans blooming was 87 percent, near 85 last year and 86 average. Setting pods was 47 percent, ahead of 40 last year, and near 45 average.
Winter wheat harvested was 99 percent, near 96 last year, and ahead of 90 average.
Sorghum condition rated 3 percent very poor, 4 poor, 31 fair, 48 good, and 14 excellent. Sorghum headed was 26 percent, behind 40 both last year and average. Coloring was 2 percent, near 1 last year and
3 average.
Oats harvested was 89 percent, ahead of 74 last year and 78 average.
Alfalfa condition rated 5 percent very poor, 15 poor, 32 fair, 40 good, and 8 excellent. Alfalfa third cutting was 48 percent complete, ahead of 38 last year and
35 average.
Dry edible beans condition rated 7 percent very poor, 11 poor, 18 fair, 41 good, and 23 excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 75 percent, behind 90 last year, but near 73 average. Setting pods was 36 percent, well behind 56 last year.
Pasture and range conditions rated 13 percent very poor, 20 poor, 38 fair,
26 good, and 3 excellent.
Stock water supplies rated 4 percent very short, 14 short, 82 adequate, and 0 surplus.

Wyoming experienced warmer than normal temperatures for the week. Twenty-eight of the 34 stations reported above average temperatures for the week with the high temperature of 102 degrees recorded at Torrington and a low of 36 degrees at Lake Yellowstone.
Two stations (Afton and Evanston) reported no precipitation and Lake Yellowstone had the most precipitation with 2.52 inches. Twenty of the 34 stations received above normal
A reporter from North Central Wyoming indicted that thunderstorm/torrential rains hit causing flash floods and damaging some crops.
A reporter from Western Wyoming noted that it is getting very dry. Another reporter added that even though they have gotten some thunderstorms it has never been enough to
soak in.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming stated that they have received some rain over the past week which has slowed haying but not enough to help plant growth.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming reported they have received some moisture recently but most of July was hot and dry.
A reporter from Southeast Wyoming indicated that they got some good moisture this week. They also indicated that there is some green in the foothills but brown elsewhere. Another reporter from Southeast Wyoming reported heavy rains this week but some areas got very little.
Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 5 percent very short, 17 percent short, and 78 percent adequate.


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