Fall back and a taste of winter

KIMBALL, Neb. – Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour before bedtime tomorrow (Saturday evening, Nov. 4) as Daylight Saving Time ends for 2017.

Officially, the time change occurs at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Nov. 5, but many people like to change their clocks before bedtime on Saturday to avoid mix ups in the morning.

Daylight Saving Time is an interesting concept, which has been around in one form or another since at least 1895. The object is to artificially extend daylight into the evening hours by advancing clocks one hour. 

In general this has been done to extend summer daylight hours until later in the evening. However, a similar advancement has been done during the wintertime from time to time, most often during wartime to extend productive work time or during periods of energy shortage to save fuel and electricity.

In the southern hemisphere, in locations where daylight saving time is practiced, clocks are generally advanced and retarded opposite to those in the northern hemisphere as the seasons are reversed. For instance, while clocks were advanced March 12 and will be retarded Nov. 5 this year in America, they were advanced Oct. 1 across most of Australia and will be retarded on April 2, 2018.

Warm weather and sunshine spurred harvest activity over the last week. Across much of the Panhandle and nearby areas in Colorado and Wyoming sugarbeet harvest came mostly to a close while corn harvest got well underway.

On Sunday evening, Oct. 29, a fast-moving weather front delivered sharply colder temperatures and widespread but light snow to much of the Tri-state region. At Kimball, temperatures fell from the mid-60’s to below freezing over a period of about four hours, and a low, scudding overcast precipitated granular snow for about an hour. Total snow accumulation was on the order of a quarter-inch, and the snow contained about 0.01 inches of liquid moisture.

Snowfall returned Monday night/Tuesday morning, with about an inch of accumulation and perhaps a tenth of liquid moisture equivalent.

Regional Forecast and Conditions

As of Tuesday morning, the temperature at sunrise was 24 degrees with light snow falling from an overcast sky. The day was expected to be sunny by afternoon with a light southerly breeze and temperatures topping out in the mid-50’s.

The forecast through the weekend calls for generally mild weather Friday and Saturday with cool conditions moving in late on Sunday. Skies should be mostly clear and there could be some breeziness. Little if any precipitation is anticipated. Weekend high temps should range in the mid-50’s to mid-60’s with overnight lows falling into the 30’s.

Monday-Wednesday daytime highs are expected to be cooler, ranging in the low- to mid-40’s, with overnight lows falling into the 20’s. There is little chance of precipitation in the forecast.
Daytime air temperatures cooled but remained seasonally pleasant across the region last week, while overnight lows cooled slightly. At Kimball the Oct. 24-30 daytime high averaged 57 degrees, about 10 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 82 degrees on Oct. 25. Overnight lows averaged 27.71 degrees, about 8 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 16 degrees on Oct. 27. The weekly mean temperature was 42.35 degrees, nearly 10 degrees cooler than the previous week, and about 6 degrees cooler than the Oct. average of 48.6 degrees. The long term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for Oct. are 64.3 and 32.8 degrees, respectively.
Ten of 13 Panhandle stations reported light precipitation over the Oct. 24-30 period, with liquid moisture totals ranging from 0.23 inches at Chadron Municipal to 0.01 inches at seven stations and zero precipitation at Big Springs, Hemingford, and Sidney. Five stations reported light snow, ranging from just over one-half inch at Dalton to a trace at Agate, Harrisburg, Harrison and Kimball. Panhandle precipitation averaged 0.03 inches compared to 0.30 inches last week, and Panhandle snowfall averaged 0.04 inches.
Panhandle soil temperatures cooled over the Oct. 24-30 period: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 45.6/58.2 (-12.6) degrees; Gordon 43.9/51.6 (-7.7) degrees; Mitchell 48.7/53.9 (-5.2) degrees; Scottsbluff 46.7/51.3 (-4.6); and Sidney 45.4/51.9 (-6.5) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged southerly and occasionally windy over the Oct. 24-30 period. Gusts for the week averaged 33.85 mph. High gust for the week was 45 mph on Oct. 26.

Weather Almanac

Here’s an overview of Nov. 3 temperature and precipitation highs, lows, and averages over the preceding 123 years at Kimball. Data is taken from the High Plains Regional Climate Center (www.hprcc.unl.edu), where you can easily find and track data for your own particular location.

Last year: Daily high temperature 60 degrees, overnight low 27 degrees, average temperature 43.5 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.

The warmest Nov. 3 on record was 77 degrees in 2008. The coolest Nov. 3 high temperature was 14 degrees in 1991. The coldest Nov. 3 overnight low was -1 degrees in 1991. The warmest Nov. 3 overnight low was 40 degrees in 1898. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on Nov. 3 has averaged 54 degrees, the overnight low 26 degrees, the daily average 40.3 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.02 inches, snowfall 0.1 inches, snow depth zero inches.

The highest Nov. 3 precipitation total was 0.44 inches liquid equivalent in 1990. The greatest snowfall was 5 inches in 1990. Greatest snow depth was 6.0 inches in 1967.

Snow has fallen on Nov. 3 at Kimball 15 times over the last 123 years, with quantities ranging from a trace to 5 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The High Plains: Dry, warm weather prevailed across the region, with no significant changes to the region’s drought depiction. However, feedback from the field coupled with additional data assessment led to small modifications of the drought areas in western South Dakota into southwestern North Dakota. In particular, satellite-derived vegetation health data as well as pasture and crop condition reports necessitated expansion of the Moderate, Severe, and Extreme Drought (D1-D3).

West: Heavy rain and snow were reported early in the period from the northern Pacific Coast into the northern Rockies, while hot, dry weather continued in the region’s southern tier. From the Cascades into the northern Rockies, heavy rain and mountain snow (1-6 inches liquid equivalent, locally more) led to widespread reductions of Abnormal Dryness, Moderate Drought, and Severe Drought (D0-D2).

Meanwhile, a disappointing end to the Southwestern Monsoon resulted in the expansion of D0 and D1 from central and eastern Arizona into neighboring portions of New Mexico; rainfall departures of 3 inches or more are common in the aforementioned locales (25-60 percent of normal). Similar dryness was noted over the northern shores of the Great Salt Lake, where D0 was likewise expanded.

National Summary: During the 7-day period ending Oct. 24, widespread moderate to heavy rain eased drought from eastern Texas and the southeastern Plains to the Great lakes and central Appalachians. Furthermore, a vigorous storm system brought much-needed rain and snow to the Northwest and northern Rockies. Conversely, hot, dry weather exacerbated developing drought in the lower Four Corners Region, while unseasonably warm, dry weather continued to worsen drought conditions across much of the Northeast.

For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report

For much of the week, dry weather from the Pacific Coast to the Plains favored fieldwork, including summer crop harvesting and late-season winter wheat planting.

Isolated showers were noted from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains.

Farther east two rounds of significant precipitation occurred along and east of the Mississippi River. Rain was especially heavy – totaling 4 inches or more – in parts of Michigan, stalling fieldwork and causing local flooding.

Weekly rainfall also topped 4 inches in several other areas, including portions of the Tennessee Valley, New England, and the southern Appalachians. Prior to the Eastern rain, many locations had experienced significant, short-term dryness.

Weekly temperatures were at least 10 degrees above normal in much of New England and parts of coastal California, but averaged more than 5 degrees below normal from the central and southern Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley. In particular, a late-week cold surge resulted in widespread temperatures below 20 degrees and isolated readings below 10 degrees across the northern and central Plains, possibly burning back recently emerged winter wheat.

On Oct. 28, Tropical Storm Philippe formed near western Cuba before racing northeastward. Philippe, the sixteenth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, later merged with a cold front after delivering locally heavy showers to southern Florida.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports


Another consecutive week of warm and dry weather continued to help harvest activities advance
last week.

In northeastern counties, reporters noted that winter wheat emergence has improved due to recent moisture, but there were concerns about cheatgrass invading fields.

In southeastern counties, a reporter noted that many producers are progressing well with sorghum and corn harvest.

Statewide, sorghum harvest is a fourth complete along with corn harvest almost a third complete, both significantly behind last
year’s progress.

Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 77 percent adequate, and 19
percent surplus.

Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 69 percent average, and 29 percent light. Cattle death loss was 3 percent heavy, 75 percent average, and 22 percent light.


Temperatures averaged near normal across western Nebraska, but two to five degrees below normal in the east.

Dry weather allowed farmers to make good progress on corn and soybean harvests. Some producers experienced cornstalk breakage and ear loss due to high winds. There were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork.

Precipitation was limited across the State. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 13 short, 84 adequate, and 2 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 15 short, 80 adequate, and 2 surplus.

Corn condition rated 3 percent very poor, 9 poor, 24 fair, 43 good, and 21 excellent. Corn harvested was 45 percent, well behind 66 last year and 67 for the five-year average.

Soybeans harvested was 89 percent, equal to last year, and near 93 average.

Winter wheat condition rated 3 percent very poor, 9 poor, 33 fair, 45 good, and 10 excellent. Winter wheat planted was 98 percent, near 100 last year and 99 average. Emerged was 88 percent, behind 95 last year, and near 91 average.

Sorghum condition rated 3 percent very poor, 2 poor, 17 fair, 51 good, and 27 excellent. Sorghum harvested was 47 percent, well behind 79 last year and 71 average.

Alfalfa fourth cutting was 96 percent complete, ahead of 91 last year.

Dry edible beans harvested was 96 percent.

Proso millet harvested was 92 percent.

Pasture and range conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 11 poor, 43 fair, 38 good, and
5 excellent.

Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 4 short, 95 adequate, and 0 surplus.


Wyoming experienced near normal temperatures for the week. Fifteen of the 34 reporting stations reported above average temperatures for the week with the high temperature of 83 degrees recorded at Torrington, and a low of 4 degrees at Laramie.

Below normal moisture was reported at all but two of the reporting stations with twenty stations reporting no precipitation. Casper reported the most moisture with 0.22 inches.

A reporter from North Central Wyoming indicated that it has been dry.

A reporter from Western Wyoming reported that the weather has been good for getting field work done. They also reported that it has become cold overnight but warms up during the day.

A reporter from Southwestern Wyoming indicated that many producers are shipping cattle and those head that are still around look good.

A reporter from Southeastern Wyoming reported that late fall conditions persist. Another reporter from Southeastern Wyoming indicated that they have had lots of wind and warm weather. They also reported that the wind has hampered harvest progress but the warm weather has helped them stay on track.

Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 13 percent very short, 19 percent short, and 68 percent adequate.

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