Icy blast brings a taste of winter


KIMBALL, Neb. – A fast-moving weather front delivered a blast of arctic air to the tri-state region Monday, but air temperatures were already warming back up late on
Tuesday.
The front arrived in the wake of a nicely warm Nov. and during the appearance of a “super” full moon.
Early Monday morning the wind kicked up as the front arrived and it was soon driving a fine, cold snow. Snowfall was reportedly heavier in the north Panhandle, causing wintry driving conditions. Across the south Panhandle snowfall totals were less, but the cold wind was nonetheless miserable.
During the day Monday temperatures climbed only into the low 20’s, and Monday night’s lows fell into the single digits and low teens.
By Tuesday the sharp cold had passed and the sun was shining, although the breeziness continued.

Regional Forecast and Conditions
As of Tuesday morning, the temperature at sunrise was 22 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. There was a northwesterly breeze at 13 mph, gusting to 30 mph. The day was expected to clear and remain breezy, with temperatures climbing into the low-40’s.
The forecast through the weekend calls for continued sunny and breezy weather. Daytime highs are expected to range from the low 40’s on Friday to the low- to mid-50’s Saturday and Sunday. Little if any widespread precipitation is anticipated. Overnight lows are expected to fall into the teens throughout the weekend.
Monday-Wednesday conditions are expected to change very little, with daytime highs ranging in the mid-40’s to mid-50’s under mostly sunny skies. Overnight lows are forecast to fall into the teens and low 20’s. There is little chance of precipitation in the forecast through Wednesday.
Daytime air temperatures cooled across the region last week. At Kimball the Nov. 28-Dec. 4 daytime high averaged 54.28, about 11 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 64 degrees on Dec. 2.
Overnight lows also cooled, averaging 22.85 degrees, about 10 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 13 degrees on Dec. 4. The weekly mean temperature was 38.57 degrees, about 10.5 degrees cooler than the previous week, and about 10 degrees warmer than the December average of 28.4 degrees. The long term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for December are 41.7 and 15.0 degrees.
It was a very dry week across the region. Only three of 13 Panhandle stations reported precipitation during the Nov. 28-Dec. 4 period. Chadron Municipal and Harrisburg reported a trace of rain while Harrison reported 0.05 inches of liquid moisture from 1.5 inches of snow.
Soil temperatures cooled across the Panhandle over the Nov. 28-Dec. 4 period: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 41.7/42.0 (-0.3) degrees; Gordon 36.8/39.2 (-2.4) degrees; Mitchell 41.3/44.2 (-2.9) degrees; Scottsbluff 38.5/42.2 (-3.7); and Sidney 38.5/42.9 (-4.4) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged westerly and somewhat breezy over the Nov. 28-Dec. 4 period. Gusts for the week averaged 3.85 mph. High gust for the week was 52 mph on Dec. 4.

Dec. 8 Weather Almanac
Here’s an overview of Dec. 8 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 10 degrees, overnight low -14 degrees, average temperature -2.0 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest Dec. 8 on record was 69 degrees in 1940. The coolest high temperature was 3 degrees in 1972. The coldest overnight low was -17 degrees in 1972. The warmest overnight low was 36 degrees in 2008. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on Dec. 8 has averaged 39 degrees, the overnight low 14 degrees, the daily average 26.7 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.02 inches, snowfall 0.2 inches, snow depth zero inches.
The highest Dec. 8 precipitation total was 0.40 inches liquid equivalent in 1953. The greatest snowfall was 6.0 inches in 1953. Greatest snow depth was 8.0 inches in 1978.
Snow has fallen on Dec. 8 at Kimball 30 times over the last 123 years, with quantities ranging from a trace to 6 inches.

November weather almanac
Average 7 a.m. conditions: temperature 32.6 degrees, winds south-southwesterly at 5.8 mph, barometer 30.04.
Average daily high temperature 55.86 degrees (123 year average 50.1). Average daily low temperature 28.1 degrees (123YA 21.9). Daily average temperature 41.98 degrees (123YA 36.1). Total liquid precipitation 0.30 inches (123YA 0.55). Year to date (YTD) precipitation 15.22 inches (123YA 16.27). Total snowfall 1.6 inches (123YA 5.3). YTD snow 24.93 inches (123YA 34.4).
Departures: Daily High, +5.76 degrees; Daily Low, +6.2 degrees; Daily Average, +5.88 degrees; Total Liquid Precipitation, -0.25 inches; YTD precipitation -1.05 inches. Total Snow, -3.7 inches. YTD snow -9.47 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor
Northern Plains: This week conditions deteriorated in central and eastern Kansas as well as in western North Dakota. In North Dakota, areas of Moderate Drought (D1) and Severe Drought (D2) expanded in response to below normal precipitation during the past 30-to-60 days as well as reports of signs of negative impacts to the winter wheat crop.
According to the USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board, winter wheat conditions are currently rated as 38 percent poor to very poor for South Dakota. In Kansas, scattered below normal stream flows and below normal precipitation during the past 30 days led to expansion of areas of Moderate Drought (D1) in south-central.
During the past week, the region was dry and temperatures were well above average especially in western portions of the Dakotas where temperatures were 15-to-18 degrees
above normal.

West: During the past week, the warm and dry pattern continued across the Southwest, southern Rockies, and eastern portions of the Intermountain West while northern California, western Oregon and Washington, and the northern Rockies were impacted by several storms that delivered locally heavy rainfall and mountain snow to the higher elevations.
According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service SNOTEL network, snowpack conditions are above normal in the following areas: Cascades (Washington), Sawtooth Range (Idaho), northern Rockies (Montana/Wyoming), and portions of the central Sierra (California). Conversely, snowpack conditions were well below normal in the mountain ranges of the Arizona, western Colorado, eastern Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon.
On the map, areas of Moderate Drought (D1) expanded in central and northern Arizona, western Colorado, western New Mexico, and across Utah in response to short-term precipitation deficits (30-60 days), poor snowpack conditions, and anomalously warm temperatures. According to the USDA, California’s topsoil moisture is currently rated as 75% short to very short.
During the past week, average temperatures were well above normal (5-to-18 degrees) across the region with numerous daily high temperature records broken from California to Colorado.
National Summary: This week saw a series of storms impact the Pacific Northwest, northern California, and northern Rockies. The heaviest precipitation was observed across the Olympic Mountains and North Cascades of western Washington where precipitation accumulations (liquid) ranged from 4-to-12 inches. In the Puget Lowlands of western Washington, runoff from the storm event led to severe flooding on the Skagit River that peaked at 5 feet above flood stage on Friday.
Elsewhere in the West, unseasonably warm temperatures were observed across parts of the region including record-breaking high temperatures reported across southern California, the Desert Southwest, western Great Basin, and along the Front Range of Colorado. In the Southwest, the warm and dry pattern of the past several months led to expansion of areas of moderate drought in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah while drought-related conditions improved in western Montana.
In the High Plains, conditions were very dry this week, and temperatures were well above normal across the entire region.
In the South and Southern Plains, the overall dry pattern during the past 30-to-60 days led to expansion of areas of moderate-to-severe drought across portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas.
In the Mid-Atlantic states, short-term precipitation deficits during the past 30 days led to deterioration of conditions across portions of North Carolina and Virginia.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report
For the second week in a row, “open” weather across most of the country favored final harvest efforts and other late-season fieldwork.
Significant precipitation was limited to the Northwest, although rain and high elevation snow briefly spread as far south as northern and central California.
Nearly all other areas, including the Plains, Midwest, Southwest, and East, received little or no precipitation.
Declining soil moisture reserves cross a vast area stretching from the Southwest into the middle and lower Mississippi Valley, as well as portions of the Atlantic Coast States, led to increased stress on some winter grains and cover crops. Some of the driest areas, including the mid-South, were also experiencing significant stress on pastures and reduced surface water supplies.
Warmth covered much of the country, with near-normal temperatures limited to the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States and areas along the Pacific Coast. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10 degrees above normal across large sections of the Plains, Southwest, and upper Midwest.
In the South and East, mild weather replaced previously cool conditions.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports

Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming
Weekly crop progress reports have ended for the growing season. Monthly reports will be issued during the first week of January, February, and March. Next year’s weekly reports will begin the first week of April 2018.

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