Summer warmth arrives with July

KIMBALL, Neb. – Following several days of early summer heat – with air temperatures exceeding the century mark in many locations – Saturday was the last day of June and was a cool, rainy day across much of the tri-state region as another moisture laden weather front moved west to east, depositing precipitation in a wide swath from the Front Range of the Rockies through the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas.

In the Panhandle, the last rain of June was beneficial to spring-planted crops, pastures, and rangeland, although cool and wet conditions slowed winter wheat maturation and kept farmers out of the field.

The weather cleared and became quite warm beginning on July 1, however, as bright sunshine and still air returned summery conditions to the norm.

Regional Forecast and Conditions

As of Tuesday morning (July 3), the temperature at sunrise was 63 degrees under clear skies. Winds calm, and the barometer was rising at 29.94 inches of mercury (in/Hg).

Today’s weather (Friday, July 6) is expected to be mostly sunny and mild. The temperature is expected to rise to 84 degrees before falling off to an overnight low of 59 and a chance of showers. Saturday and Sunday are expected to be hot and sunny with daytime highs in the low 90’s and overnight lows falling to about 61. Little if any precipitation is expected Saturday and Sunday.

Monday through Wednesday are expected to be remain sunny and hot with highs in the mid-90’s and overnight lows falling into the lower 60’s with an increased chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms.

Twenty-four hour average air temperatures warmed across the region last week. At 13 selected stations across the Panhandle 24-hour temperatures averaged 72.4 degrees, about 8 degrees warmer than the previous week. At Kimball the June 26-July 2 daytime high averaged 87.85 degrees, about 13 degrees warmer than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 101 degrees on June 28. Overnight lows averaged 54.21 degrees, about 3.5 degrees warmer than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 45 degrees on July 1. The weekly mean temperature at Kimball was 71.07 degrees, about 8 degrees warmer than last week, and about 6 degrees warmer than the June average of 65.2 degrees. The long-term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for June are 80.3 and 50.1, respectively, and for July, 87.4 and 56.1, respectively.

All 13 selected Panhandle stations reported rain over the June 26-July 2 period. Rainfall totals ranged from 1.77 inches at Hemingford 4.2E to 0.17 inches at Harrison. Across the Panhandle rainfall averaged 0.70 inches, compared to 0.78 inches last week.
Soil temperature warmed nicely across the Panhandle over the June 26-July 2 period: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 74.5/66.8 (+7.7) degrees; Gordon 72.5/67.0 (+5.5) degrees; Mitchell 76.1/70.1 (+6.0) degrees; Scottsbluff 76.1/68.6 (+7.5); and Sidney 79.1/67.0 (+12.1) degrees.

Winds near Kimball averaged west-southwesterly and mostly light over the June 26-July 2 period. Gusts for the week averaged 26 mph. High gust for the week was 39 mph on June 28.

Weather Almanac

Here’s an overview of July 6 temperature and precipitation highs, lows, and averages over the preceding 125 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 96 degrees, overnight low 61 degrees, average temperature 78.5 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.

The warmest July 6 on record was 102 degrees in 1973. The coolest July 6 high temperature was 54 degrees in 1904. The coldest July 6 overnight low was 42 degrees in 1904. The warmest July 6 overnight low was 65 degrees in 2000. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on July 6 has averaged 85 degrees, the overnight low 56 degrees, the daily average 70.3 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.08 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.

The highest July 6 precipitation total was 1.35 inches liquid equivalent in 1978. There is no record of snowfall or snow depth on July 6 over the last 125 years.

June weather almanac

Average 7 a.m. conditions: temperature 58.8 degrees, winds south-southeasterly at 4.6 mph, barometer 30.02 inches of mercury (in/Hg). 

Average daily high temperature 82.27 degrees (125 year average 80.3). Average daily low temperature 53.37 degrees (125YA 56.1). Daily average temperature 67.82 degrees (125YA 71.8). Total liquid precipitation 2.53 inches (125YA 2.55). Year to date (YTD) precipitation 14.71 inches (125YA 9.04). Total snowfall zero inches (125YA 0.0). YTD snow 41.95 inches (125YA 26.4).

Departures: Daily High, +1.97 degrees; Daily Low, -2.73 degrees; Daily Average, -3.98 degrees; Total Liquid Precipitation, -0.02 inches; YTD precipitation +5.67 inches. Total Snow unchanged, YTD snow +15.55 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor

National Summary: A couple of strong upper-level low pressure systems, moving in the jet stream flow, slowly crossed the northern half of the contiguous U.S. during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week. The lows dragged surface lows and frontal systems with them. Supplied with abundant Gulf of Mexico moisture, these systems generated numerous mesoscale thunderstorm complexes which dumped heavy rain across parts of the Plains to Midwest and Mid-Atlantic coast. The clouds and rain associated with the lows and fronts also brought cooler-than-normal temperatures to the central Plains to Northeast. A moist low-pressure system at the beginning of the week dumped heavy rains along the Texas Gulf coast.

Contraction of drought and abnormally dry areas occurred in the Plains and Texas Gulf coast where precipitation was above normal for the week. However, these lows tracked within a larger-scale upper-level ridge system. Drier-than-normal weather dominated much of the West, large parts of Texas and the Southeast States, and from the western Great Lakes to most of the Northeast, with drought and abnormal dryness expanding in parts of the West, South, and Northeast. The week was warmer than normal across much of the West, along the northern tier states, much of Texas, and most of the Southeast.

High Plains: Several rounds of heavy thunderstorms moved along frontal boundaries on multiple days in the High Plains states. Two inches or more of rain was measured across the western two-thirds of Kansas, the eastern half of Nebraska, and in parts of South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, with 5 inches or more indicated for southwestern Kansas, eastern Nebraska, and southeast South Dakota.

The week was drier than normal for other parts of the High Plains, with western Colorado to southwestern Wyoming receiving little to no precipitation. The rains resulted in pullback of D0-D2 in Kansas, with some 2-category improvements in southwest Kansas, contraction of D0-D1 in Nebraska, and trimming of D0 in South Dakota.

With the heavy rains missing eastern Kansas, the week ended drier than normal there, further increasing precipitation deficits for the last 1 to 3 months and, in northeast Kansas, out to 9 months, so D0-D2 were expanded in eastern Kansas.

Some of the heavier rains crossed from Kansas into Colorado, but just barely. D2-D3 were pulled back a bit in far eastern Colorado, but the dry conditions further west resulted in D2-D3 expanding in central and west-central Colorado, and D4 expanding in west-central Colorado. June 25 USDA statistics indicated 53 percent of the pastures and rangeland in Colorado were in poor to very poor condition.

West: Most Dry weather and mostly warmer-than-normal temperatures dominated the West this week. June 25 USDA statistics indicated that pastures and rangeland were in poor to very poor condition for 90 percent of the pastures and rangeland in Arizona, 68 percent in New Mexico, 36 percent in Utah, 25 percent in Nevada, and 22 percent in Oregon. D0 and D1 expanded in parts of Oregon and Washington where streamflow was at near to record low levels for this time of year and SPI values were low for the last 1 to 3 months. The D2 was continued in eastern Oregon. In this region, drought impacts from Baker County include very dry soil conditions, blowing dust, no water for livestock, dry springs and storage ponds, below-normal range grass growth; drought impacts from Harney County include significantly low water supplies from early melt-out of winter snowpack are reducing water available for irrigators and ranchers; and drought impacts from Lake County include reduced water supplies for irrigators and ranchers due to low streamflow and low reservoir storage at some basin reservoirs.

In Utah, D2 was expanded in the northeast and new ovals of D3 and D4 were added. But in southwest New Mexico, D1-D3 were pulled back where the rains from Tropical Storm Bud last week were reflected in SPoRT soil moisture and SPI indicators.

Several indicators, including SPI and other precipitation indices, evapotranspiration indices, soil moisture indices, and vegetation indices, showed worsening meteorological conditions in California. June 25 USDA statistics have 75 percent of topsoil moisture and 75 percent of subsoil moisture in California short or very short (dry to very dry), with 40 percent of pastures and rangeland in poor to very poor condition. D0 was expanded in northern and central California, and D1 crept in from the north to capture the extremely low 6- to 12-month SPI values. The water resources of California are carefully managed to mitigate the impacts of drought. With reservoirs in good shape, the D0-D1 in northern California reflects the climatological indicators. D0 was expanded to the California coast to reflect abnormally dry meteorological conditions over the last several months, and a low snowpack during the latter months of the wet season. Since drought impacts along the coast are not happening, the D0 reflects just meteorological conditions and further degradation (to a level of drought, D1) is extremely unlikely there this summer because even zero precipitation over the next few months would not be enough to drop water year precipitation into D1 levels.

For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: 

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report

Report not available due to holiday deadline.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports


Colorado experienced above normal temperatures and dry conditions, which accelerated winter wheat harvest last week. Eastern districts received isolated moisture, while western and southern counties remained very dry. Several fires in western and southern Colorado were reported last week.

In northeastern counties, reporters noted precipitation delayed cutting of alfalfa and planting of other hay crops in areas. Several producers began winter wheat harvest in these counties last week where conditions allowed. Crops, livestock, and rangeland were reportedly in good condition where moisture supplies were favorable.

East central counties received isolated precipitation, with damaging hail reported. Conditions continued to worsen in areas that have experienced prolonged hot and dry weather; a reporter noted hay production was spotty and pasture conditions remained poor.

San Luis Valley reporters noted first cutting of alfalfa was nearly complete and helped along by hot and dry conditions. Other irrigated crops were reportedly doing well, but rangeland continued to suffer from drought conditions and reduced range production was noted.

Southeastern counties received isolated moisture last week, but amounts varied greatly. Winter wheat harvest was in full swing, but a reporter noted harvest was delayed in the easternmost part of the district due to locally heavy rain. Spring crops were noted to be showing signs of drought stress. In Costilla and Huerfano counties, the Spring fire had burned over 45,000 acres by week’s end and was burning uncontained.

Statewide, winter wheat harvested was ahead of the average at 21 percent complete, compared to 11 percent last year. Winter wheat was rated 48 percent good to excellent, compared with 42 percent good to excellent last year.

Stored feed supplies were rated 13 percent very short, 23 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

Sheep death loss was 66 percent average and 34 percent light. Cattle death loss was 75 percent average and 25 percent light.


No report published since mid-May.


Wyoming experienced near normal temperatures for the week. Fourteen of 34 stations reported above average temperatures for the week with the high temperature of 103 degrees recorded at Torrington and a low of 34 degrees at Yellowstone, Big Piney, and Laramie.

Below normal moisture was reported at 24 of the 34 reporting stations. Seven reporting stations had no precipitation. Kaycee reported the most moisture with 1.15 inches.

A reporter from Western Wyoming noted that a lot of hay was put up with the dry conditions. They also noted that the nights have been cool making the growing conditions fair.

A reporter from Southwestern Wyoming indicated that the weather has been hot and windy.

A reporter from South Central Wyoming indicated that they received high temperatures and sustained winds which has removed all moisture from non-irrigated ground.

A reporter from Southeastern Wyoming indicated that it has dried out quickly with a return of warm temperatures. Another reporter from Southeastern Wyoming indicated that the high temperature combined with irrigation water being shut off has stressed some crops.

Irrigation water supply across Wyoming was rated 1 percent poor, 5 percent fair, 83 percent good, and 11 percent excellent.

Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 5 percent very short, 11 percent short, 83 percent, and 1 percent adequate.


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