Warmth followed by rain across the region

KIMBALL – Warming and sometimes breezy conditions followed in the wake of last week’s snow-bearing weather system. Sunshine, warmth and breeziness allowed fields to dry. Many producers took advantage of the opportunity to conduct spring fieldwork.
While air temperatures warmed, soil temperatures -- which had dropped precipitously with the cold and snow -- lagged behind. This served to slightly slow plant growth, however, by May 8 soil temps and plant growth had caught up and surpassed pre-cold spell conditions.
Despite the cool setback, most winter wheat had reached jointing stage by May 8.
Cool season and winter annual grasses were really coming along.
Some producers were moving cows and calves to spring grass.

Regional Forecast and Conditions
As of Tuesday, May 9, conditions were cool and damp as a slow moving weather front began to move through the region. This system was expected to pass by late on Thursday and the Friday-Wednesday forecast calls for a return to warmer,
drier conditions.
Daytime highs are expected to reach into the mid-70’s while overnight lows were expected to fall into the 40’s. The chance of widespread precipitation across the region through May 17 is low with just a chance of scattered, localized thunderstorms.
Air temperatures warmed nicely across the region last week. At Kimball the weekly daytime high averaged 70.27 degrees, about 20 degrees cooler than the previous week. The high was 85 degrees on May 6.
Overnight lows averaged 40.14 degrees, about 8.5 degrees warmer than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 31 degrees on May 4. The weekly mean temperature was 55.21 degrees, about 14 degrees warmer than the previous week, and very near the May average of 55.0 degrees. The long-term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for May are 69.3 and 40.7 degrees.
All 13 Panhandle stations reported precipitation for the period, ranging from 0.93 inches at Sidney to a trace at Agate and Harrison. Precipitation across the Panhandle averaged 0.15 inches for the week, compared to 0.83 inches last week.
Soil temperatures warmed last week, returning to near normal and ranging from 6.7 to 10.9 degrees warmer than the previous week across the Panhandle. May 2-8 soil temperatures (this week/last week/change): Alliance 55.4/46.7 (+8.7) degrees; Gordon 57.0/46.5 (+10.5) degrees; Mitchell 56.7/48.6 (+8.1) degrees; Scottsbluff 55.4/48.7 (+6.7); and Sidney 58.0/47.1 (+10.9) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged from the south southwest and occasionally quite breezy over the May 2-8 period. Gusts for the week averaged 25.85-mph. High gust for the week was 35 mph on May 3.

May 12 Weather Almanac
Here’s an overview of May 12 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).
May 12, 2016: High 59 degrees, overnight low 29 degrees, average temperature 44 degrees. Precipitation 0 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest May 12 on record was 90 degrees in 1941. The coolest high temperature was 33 degrees in 2014. The coldest overnight low was 21 degrees in 1953. The warmest overnight low was 54 degrees in 1940.
Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on May 12 has averaged 66 degrees, the overnight low 40 degrees and the daily average 53 degrees. Precipitation has averaged 0.08 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The greatest May 12 precipitation recorded over the last 123 years was 1.75 inches in 1898. Snow has fallen on May 12 at Kimball nine times over the last 123 years. The greatest May 12 snowfall was 6 inches in 2010. Measurable May 12 snow depth was reported in six of the last 123 years. The greatest May 12 snow depth was 6 inches in 2010.

U.S. Drought Monitor
May 4
The High Plains: Weather was mixed across the region, from dry in the Dakotas to wet over much of Kansas, Nebraska and the plains of Colorado. The same storm system that brought rain to the Midwest also brought a mix of rain and snow to both Kansas and Nebraska.
Significant snow totals were associated with this storm for this time of year. In Kansas, Tribune had a storm total of 22 inches; Wallace, 21 inches; Hugoton, 17 inches; Russell Springs, 16.5 inches; and Ulysses, 15.5 inches. In Nebraska, Maywood had 12 inches; Miller, O’Neill, and Newport, 10 inches; Eustis, 8.4 inches; and Lexington, Bertrand, and Sumner, 8 inches.
The influx of moisture resulted in reductions of drought conditions across the region. All moderate drought classifications were lifted from Nebraska and eastern portions of Colorado this week, leaving just two small pockets of moderate drought remain in northeast Wyoming.
Abnormally dry conditions were also improved over all of Kansas, western South Dakota, eastern Colorado, and southern Nebraska. Only a few pockets of dryness remain in the region.
National Summary: An intense storm developed over the central Plains and moved through the Midwest, bringing with it torrential rains and thunderstorms on the front side and heavy, wet snow on the backside. A wide swath of the country from eastern Oklahoma through Arkansas, Missouri and into Illinois recorded more than five inches of rain with the event. Portions of western Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle recorded several inches of snow, with some places reporting more than a foot.
The Southeast remained dry, as well as much of the Southwest. Long-term drought issues still linger in the Northeast even with the wet pattern of the last several months. Snow was still accumulating in the upper elevations of the Rocky Mountains, with water managers making room for the anticipated runoff.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report
May 2
Major spring storms continued to produce extreme and unusual weather in several regions.
Early-week downpours in the southern Mid-Atlantic region led to flooding but further reduced the Southeastern drought’s footprint. Warm, mostly dry weather resulted in further drought intensification across the Florida peninsula and southern Georgia.
Several disturbances maintained showery weather across much of the country, with only the nation’s southern tier remaining mostly dry.
Snow halted fieldwork in some northern crop production areas, including the Red River Valley, while rain showers limited or prevented fieldwork in the Northwest, central Plains, Midwest, and mid-South.
Cool weather dominated areas from the Pacific Northwest to the Plains and upper Midwest, with weekly temperatures averaging at least 10 degrees below normal in much of North Dakota and
northern Minnesota.
General warmth prevailed, however, in the Desert Southwest, the lower Rio Grande Valley, and the eastern U.S. Temperatures averaged as much as 10 degrees above normal in the northern Mid-Atlantic States and southern New England.
A powerful spring storm emerged from the West later in the week. Torrential rainfall developed from the southeastern Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley, severe thunderstorms erupted across the South, and heavy snow blanketed central and southern portions of the Rockies and High Plains.
Specific agricultural impacts from the late-week storm included localized wind damage and isolated tornadoes from eastern Texas into the lower and middle Mississippi Valley. The storms caused extensive lowland flooding and fieldwork delays across the mid-South and lower Midwest and heavy snow in a narrow band across the central and southern Plains.
Snowfall totals in excess of a foot across western Kansas and environs left rural roads impassable. There were reports of significant livestock mortality, especially in calves, and flattened winter wheat, with the full extent of damage unknown.

May 9
A late-season blizzard continued early in the week in western Kansas and environs, with agricultural impacts ranging from flattened winter wheat to livestock mortality.
Subsequently, another storm crossed the nation’s midsection, triggering heavy rain and flash flooding in the central Gulf Coast region, and prolonging lowland flooding and fieldwork delays in the mid-South and lower Midwest.
Many areas from the Mississippi Valley eastward received weekly rainfall totaling at least an inch, with substantially greater amounts of 2 to 4 inches or more recorded from Missouri into the Northeast and along the central Gulf Coast.
Mild, mostly dry weather prevailed across the northern Plains and the Northwest, encouraging spring wheat planting and other previously delayed fieldwork.
General warmth prevailed from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains, with weekly temperatures averaging as much as 10 degrees above normal in California and the Desert Southwest. On May 4, triple-digit temperatures were reported as far north as California’s San Joaquin Valley.
Farther east temperatures averaged at least 5 degrees below normal from the central and southern Plains into the Mississippi Valley and portions of the Great Lakes region. Multiple freezes on the central High Plains, mainly from April 30 – May 2, and again on May 4, brought another threat to winter wheat in addition to the heavy snow.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports
Planting progress was achieved between precipitation events throughout the state this past week.
An influx of moisture, combined with cooler temperatures early in the week, held back emergence in areas, which picked up with warmer temperatures to finish the week.  Soil moisture and pasture conditions continued to improve.
Reporters noted incidences of wheat stripe rust in Northeast and East Central counties.
In Southeast counties, crop and livestock damage was still being assessed from the previous week’s heavy snowstorm. Reporters note that freeze damage to winter wheat leaves and the flag leaf was evident, but damage to the head is undetermined.
Bent and Prowers counties reported the heaviest livestock losses from the storm, and a reporter noted wheat was down in areas with some broken off due to heavy snow.
As of May 8, snowpack in Colorado was at 95 percent, measured as a percentage of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 105 and 99 percent of median.
Stored feed supplies were rated 4 percent short, 87 percent adequate, and 9 percent surplus.
Sheep death loss was 52 percent average and 48 percent light.  Cattle death loss was 2 percent heavy, 76 percent average, and 22 percent light.

For the week ending May 7, temperatures averaged one to two degrees below normal.
Rainfall was limited to half an inch or less across most of the State. Dry weather allowed planting and other field activities to continue at week’s end. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 8 short, 81 adequate, and 8 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 6 percent very short, 12 short, 76 adequate, and 6 surplus.
Producers started to move cows and calves to pastures. There were 3.3 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn planted was 48 percent, near 49 last year, and behind 55 for the five-year average.  Emerged was 10 percent, near 14 last year, and behind 15 average.
Soybeans planting totaled 13 percent, near 11 last year, but behind the average of 18 percent.
Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 15 poor, 47 fair, 31 good, and 5 excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 77 percent, near 80 last year, but ahead of 58 average.  Headed was 1 percent, behind 9 both last year and average.
Sorghum planted was 5 percent, near 4 last year and 8 average.
Oats condition rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 9 fair, 88 good, and 3 excellent. Oats planted was 94 percent, ahead of 89 last year, and near 93 average. Emerged was 76 percent, near 78 last year and 73 average. Jointed was 1 percent.
Pasture and range conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 19 fair, 72 good, and 8 excellent.
Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 4 short, 93 adequate, and 2 surplus.

Wyoming experienced warmer than normal temperatures for the week, with 32 of 34 stations reported above average temperatures. The high temperature of 89 degrees recorded at Greybull, Old Fort Laramie and Torrington and a low of 17 degrees at Dubois.
Nine stations reported no precipitation. Only one station, Sundance, had more than average precipitation at 0.74 inches.
A reporter from Eastern Wyoming indicted that it was cool over the past week, which has inhibited plant growth. They also indicated that, despite the recent rains, they still are short the required moisture for sustained pastures.
One reporter from Western Wyoming commented that farmers were able to get in the field and get some work done. There were also reports of flooding brought on by the warmer weather.
A reporter from Southwestern Wyoming noted they have finished up shearing and they have had warm weather with scattered showers.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming stated that things are drying out with minimal moisture for the week.
A reporter from Southeast Wyoming reported that they had above normal moisture and good range conditions.  Another reporter from Southeast Wyoming noted that the recent moisture has revived some of the crops and pasture but cold temperatures have put a strain on cattle and the crops.
Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 8 percent very short, 7 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 17
percent surplus.


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