More warmth and breeziness as Dec. arrives

© 2017-Business Farmer

KIMBALL, Neb. – Weather conditions were somewhat unseasonably warm and, unsurprisingly, occasionally quite breezy across the tri-state region over the last week.
With a very few exceptions, harvest has finished for the year across the tri-state region.
There was little if any precipitation across the region.
Warm conditions and sunshine allowed winter wheat stands to continue to develop. The wheat plants continue to use already scanty soil moisture, and sun-driven evaporation further reduced moisture.
Cattle continue to find good winter grazing on well managed pastures and rangeland, and in particular, to find still-green winter annual grasses in those locations where they
are present.

Regional Forecast and Conditions
Daytime air temperatures warmed across the region last week. At Kimball the Nov. 21-27 daytime high averaged 65.71 degrees, nearly 8 degrees warmer than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 76 degrees on Nov. 27. Overnight lows warmed as well, averaging 32.42 degrees, about 4.5 degrees warmer than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 27 degrees on Nov. 24. The weekly mean temperature was 49.07 degrees, about 7 degrees warmer than the previous week, and about 13 degrees warmer than the November average of 36.1 degrees. The long-term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for November are 50.1 and 21.9 degrees, respectively.
Soil temperatures at Gordon and Scottsbluff cooled slightly while warming slightly at Alliance, Mitchell, and Sidney over the Nov. 21-27 period: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 42.0/39.5 (+2.5) degrees; Gordon 39.2/39.8 (-0.6) degrees; Mitchell 44.2/42.5 (+1.7) degrees; Scottsbluff 42.2/42.5 (-0.3); and Sidney 42.9/39.9 (+3.0) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged westerly and occasionally breezy over the Nov. 21-27 period. Gusts for the week averaged 32.14 mph. High gust for the week was 59 mph on Nov. 20.

Dec. 1 Weather Almanac
Here’s an overview of Dec. 1 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 36 degrees, overnight low 9 degrees, average temperature 22.5 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest Dec. 1 on record was 71 degrees in 1999. The coolest Dec. 1 high temperature was 5 degrees in 1985. The coldest Dec. 1 overnight low was -18 degrees in 1985. The warmest Dec. 1 overnight low was 39 degrees in 1964. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on Dec. 1 has averaged 41 degrees, the overnight low 16 degrees, the daily average 28.6 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.01 inches, snowfall 0.2 inches, snow depth zero inches.
The highest Dec. 1 precipitation total was 0.90 inches liquid equivalent in 1933. The greatest snowfall was 6.0 inches in 1933. Greatest snow depth was 13.0 inches in 1979.
Snow has fallen on Dec. 1 at Kimball 17 times over the last 123 years, with quantities ranging from a trace to 6 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor
Northern Plains: Very little precipitation fell on northern Minnesota, the Dakotas and the dry areas of Montana, but this is a dry time of the year climatologically for the region, so no substantial increase in precipitation deficits was noted, and last week’s depiction was not changed.
West: Moderate drought expanded into southwestern and west-central Colorado, east-central Utah, and the adjacent fringe of northwestern New Mexico.
In the northern Intermountain West, light to moderate precipitation fell on the D0 areas in southern Idaho and interior Washington, with only scattered light amounts reported across interior Oregon; however, despite this week’s unimpressive precipitation, impacts resulting from below-normal precipitation have gradually eased over the past several weeks, and all abnormal dryness was removed from the region.
Farther south, little or no precipitation fell on the Four Corners States and Southwest, as was the case in most of the other dry areas across the country. Drought evolves more slowly in this part of the country than in the climatologically wetter parts of the country, but some limited deterioration seemed appropriate in a few areas.
Abnormal dryness was introduced in central Utah, leaving only the northwestern part of the state free from dryness.
National Summary: With a few exceptions, dry weather dominated the contiguous 48 states this past week, particularly in areas already experiencing dryness and drought.
Heavy precipitation fell on the orographically-favored areas in the West (specifically, the Sierra Nevada, windward slopes of the Cascades, and much of the coastline from northern California to the Canadian border). Anywhere from 4 to locally 12 inches doused much of these areas.
Between 2 and 4 inches fell from central and eastern Illinois eastward across central and northern sections of Indian and Ohio, Michigan, and northwestern Pennsylvania, and similar amounts were more isolated across the higher elevations of the northern Idaho Panhandle, south-central Idaho, western Wyoming and adjacent areas, and a few scattered areas in northern sections of Nevada and Utah.
Southern New England and eastern Maine recorded 1 to locally 3 inches of precipitation.
Elsewhere – the vast majority of the country from the Great Basin and Southwest eastward across most of the Rockies and Plains, the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast, and the mid-Atlantic region – only a few tenths of an inch of precipitation was recorded, if any.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report
Dry weather dominated the country, except along the Atlantic Seaboard, downwind of the Great Lakes, and in the Northwest.
Across vast sections of the nation, stretching from the Southwest to the Plains, Midwest, mid-South, and much of the Southeast, Thanksgiving Week conditions were nearly ideal for late-autumn fieldwork. In particular, cool but dry weather in previously wet areas of the eastern Corn Belt allowed corn and soybean harvest efforts to resume and near completion. However, the expansive dryness also further reduced topsoil moisture for winter wheat and cover crops, especially in parts of the Plains, mid-South, and Southeast. In addition, southern California and the Southwest continued to await seasonal rainfall, which has not yet materialized in part due to the influence of the developing La Niña on North American weather patterns. Aside from some heavy rain in coastal New England and the southern Atlantic region, significant precipitation was confined to the Northwest. Weekly totals of 4 to 12 inches, with locally higher amounts, were reported from the Cascades westward, with unusual warmth restricting Northwestern snow accumulations to the highest elevations.
Late-season warmth across much of the western and central U.S. contrasted with chilly conditions from the Ohio Valley southward to the Gulf Coast. Weekly temperatures generally ranged from 5 to 15 degrees above normal from the Pacific Coast to the Plains and westernmost Corn Belt, but averaged at least 5 degrees below normal in the central Gulf Coast States, the Tennessee Valley, and portions of the southern Mid-Atlantic region.
From Nov. 22-24, record-setting warmth broadly covered the western and central U.S. Temperatures soared to 80 degrees or higher as far north as the central Plains and topped 70 degrees in eastern Montana. Readings above 90 degrees were noted in parts of southern California and southwestern Arizona.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports
Colorado
For the week ending Nov. 19, continued dry weather helped advance harvest activities, with isolated precipitation observed late in the week.
Reporters in northeastern counties noted lack of moisture continues to be a concern for fall planted crops and range conditions going into winter.
In southeastern counties, reporters mentioned harvest was slow due to poor dry down of some crops.
East central counties reported producers were still actively harvesting sorghum and sunflowers.
Statewide, corn and sorghum were 86 percent harvested by week’s end, still behind last year and the average.
Harvest of sugarbeets was virtually complete.
Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 83 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus.
Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 70 percent average and 28 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 74 percent average, and 25 percent light.
As of Nov. 27, another week of warm and dry weather pushed crop harvest to near completion.
Reporters in northeastern counties noted harvest was wrapping up and fall fieldwork continued where conditions allowed. Conditions in these areas remained a concern due to lack of moisture.
In east central counties, a reporter noted winter wheat was doing well, but dry conditions were a concern going forward.
Reporters in southwestern counties noted continued dry weather caused conditions to deteriorate. Winter wheat was stressed in these areas and fruit trees were breaking dormancy due to warm temperatures, lowering cold hardiness.
In the San Luis Valley, reporters also noted it was dry with no recent moisture. Fieldwork continued in these areas due to limited frost.
In southeastern counties, a reporter noted last week was dry and windy with most crops harvested.
Statewide, livestock were doing well and most were on winter pasture or feed stalks.
Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 3 percent short, 85 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus.
Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 59 percent average, and 39 percent light. Cattle death loss was 73 percent average and 27 percent light.


Nebraska
Temperatures averaged near normal across eastern Nebraska, but 6 to 10 degrees above normal in
the west.
Precipitation was limited across the state, with only a few counties reporting more than half an inch of rain. Corn harvest was near
completion.
There were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 3 percent very short, 23 short, 73 adequate, and 1 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 4 percent very short,
22 short, 73 adequate, and 1
surplus.
Corn harvested was 93 percent, near 96 last year and 95 for the five-year average.
Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 9 poor, 33 fair, 49 good, and 7 excellent.
Sorghum harvested was 91 percent, behind 98 last year and 97
averages.
Pasture and range conditions rated 2 percent very poor, 12 poor, 46 fair, 36 good, and 4 excellent.
Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 4 short, 95 adequate, and 0 surplus.
For the week ending Nov. 26, temperatures averaged six to fifteen degrees above normal across the state. No moisture was received for most of Nebraska. Corn harvest was wrapping up for the region. There were 7.0 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 4 percent very short, 28 short, 67 adequate, and 1 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 4 percent very short, 22 short, 73 adequate, and 1 surplus.
Corn harvested was 97 percent, near 98 for both last year and the five-year average.
Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 8 poor, 31 fair, 52 good, and 7 excellent.
Sorghum harvested was 96 percent, near 100 last year and 99 average.
Pasture and range conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 12 poor, 46 fair, 36 good, and 3 excellent. Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 5 short, 94 adequate, and 0 surplus.

Wyoming
Wyoming experienced warmer temperatures for the week.
Thirty-two of the 34 reporting stations reported above average temperatures for the week with the high temperature of 75 degrees recorded at Wheatland, and a low of 2 degrees below zero at Yellowstone.
Below normal moisture was reported at nineteen of the reporting stations with four stations reporting no precipitation. Yellowstone reported the greatest moisture, with 1.55 inches.
A reporter from North Central Wyoming indicated that they received snow on Friday. They also indicated that fall activities are wrapping up.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming indicated they have received some moisture, which has helped with topsoil moisture. They also report that the mountains have a small amount of snow and that the cattle are mainly on winter pasture with a minimal amount of feeding.
A reporter from Southeastern Wyoming indicated that windy late fall conditions persist.
Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 12 percent very short, 18 percent short, and 70 percent adequate.
Wyoming experienced warmer than average temperatures for the week ending Nov. 26. All of 34 monitoring stations reported above average temperatures for the week, with the high temperature of 75 degrees recorded at Torrington, and a low of 3 degrees at Big Piney.
Below normal moisture was reported at 32 of the reporting stations, with 17 stations reporting no precipitation. Dubois reported the greatest moisture, with 0.26 inches.
A reporter from Western Wyoming indicated that the days are warm but cold at night and in the mornings. They also indicated that they have gotten a lot of moisture and hay supplies are dwindling.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming indicated that they had mild conditions this past week but everyone is set for winter.
A reporter from Southeastern Wyoming indicated that windy late fall conditions persist.
Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 10 percent very short, 16 percent short, and 74 percent adequate.

This is the last weekly Crop Progress and Condition report for the 2017 growing season. For Dec. through March, monthly reports will be issued. The first monthly report (for Dec.) will be issued Jan. 2, 2018. Weekly reports will begin April 2 for the 2018 season.


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