Wheat germination boosted by precipitation

KIMBALL – A high level weather system flowed into the Tri-state region late last Thursday, lowering air temperatures and generating a number of widespread and intense evening thunderstorms.
Although the storms generated  quite a bit of hail, most of the hail was pea- to marble-sized and did little real damage.
The upside of the thunderstorms was widespread precipitation, ranging from one-tenth of an inch to more than an inch across the Panhandle and adjacent portions of Wyoming and Colorado.
This moisture was welcome after a warm and dry spell and provided a good boost for recently planted winter wheat.
Summer crops are maturing nicely and a good bit of hay is being put up across the south Panhandle.
Precipitation also spurred regrowth of cool season grasses and boosted winter annual grass germination and growth.

Regional Forecast and Conditions
As of Tuesday morning, Sept 19, the temperature at sunrise was 50 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. The day was expected to be partly sunny and breezy with a high of 84 degrees and very little chance of rain.
The forecast through the weekend calls for cooling temperatures and a good chance of precipitation across the region. Weekend daytime air temperatures are forecast to range in the 50’s to near 60 degrees. Overnight lows for the weekend are expected to fall into the upper 30’s to low-40’s. There is a 40 percent chance for widespread regional showers over the weekend.
Monday-Wednesday daytime highs are expected to warm slightly into the 60’s, with overnight lows falling into the upper 30’s to low-40’s. There is a continued, if diminishing, chance of widespread showers through mid-week.
Air temperatures cooled once again across the region last week. At Kimball the Sept. 12-18 daytime high averaged 81.57 degrees, about 3 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 92 degrees on Sept. 12. Overnight lows averaged 50.27 degrees, about 0.5 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 43 degrees on Sept. 16. The weekly mean temperature was 66.07 degrees, about 2.5 degrees cooler than the previous week, and about 5.5 degrees warmer than the September average of 60.7 degrees. The long term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for September are 77.0 and 44.4 degrees.
All 13 weather stations across the Nebraska Panhandle reported precipitation over the Sept. 12-18 period, ranging from 1.01 inches at Harrisburg to 0.10 inches at Big Springs. Precipitation averaged 0.55 inches compared to 0.005 inches last week.
Panhandle soil temperatures cooled over the Sept. 12-18 period: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 66.1/68.1 (-2.0) degrees; Gordon 70.0/72.3 (-2.3) degrees; Mitchell 71.3/72.8 (-1.5) degrees; Scottsbluff 71.4/71.2 (+0.02); and Sidney 69.5/70.3 (-0.8) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged south-southeasterly and occasionally brisk over the Sept. 12-18 period. Gusts for the week averaged 28.42 mph. High gust for the week was 38 mph on Sept. 14.

Sept. 15 Weather Almanac
Here’s an overview of Sept. 15 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 81 degrees, overnight low 42 degrees, average temperature 61.5 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest Sept. 15 on record was 92 degrees in 1958. The coolest Sept. 15 high temperature was 42 degrees in 1995. The coldest Sept. 15 overnight low was 18 degrees in 1983. The warmest Sept. 15 overnight low was 54 degrees in 1910. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on Sept. 15 has averaged 72 degrees, the overnight low 41 degrees, the daily average 56.4 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.05 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The highest Sept. 15 precipitation total was 0.82 inches in 1941.
Snow has fallen on Sept. 15 at Kimball two times over the last 123 years, with a trace being recorded in 1994 and 1995.

U.S. Drought Monitor
The High Plains: While Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida and, to a lesser extent, other parts of the Southeast, most of the contiguous 48 states caught little if any precipitation, save for scattered moderate to isolated heavy precipitation in parts of the Northeast. Irma brought intense rains (approaching 1.5 feet in some spots) and powerful wind gusts (measured at 140 mph at one place on the West Coast of the Florida Peninsula) that removed any suggestion of dryness from the Southeast. Enough precipitation fell on part of eastern Maine to shave down areas of D0 and D1 from the west, but most of the country – from the Ohio and lower Mississippi Rivers westward to the Pacific Coast – recorded little precipitation, if any. Only isolated patches in the eastern Great Lakes Region and the lower Colorado River Valley recorded more than an inch of rain.
National Summary: The dry week in the central Plains led to a significant expansion of D0 and, to a lesser extent, D1 in northern Oklahoma, Kansas, and southern Nebraska.
Farther north, the most notable change was the broad development of D1 in most of eastern North Dakota and adjacent northwestern Minnesota, with scattered small areas in the Dakotas declining into severe or extreme drought.
Farther west in the High Plains, light precipitation at best has fallen over the last 30 days, keeping dryness and drought essentially intact, with D0 developing in central and eastern sections of the Denver to Ft. Collins, Colorado area.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report
Hurricane Irma tore across the Florida Keys on the morning of Sept. 10, followed by final landfall on Marco Island, Fla, during the afternoon. Irma was packing sustained winds near 130 mph upon reaching Cudjoe Key at 9:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, marking the first time that two Category 4 hurricanes achieved U.S. landfall in the same year. Hurricane Harvey had crossed the middle Texas coast near Rockport with winds near 130 mph on Aug. 25. When Irma made landfall on Marco Island at 3:35 p.m. EDT, sustained winds had dropped to 115 mph – making it a Category 3 hurricane.
Although Irma traversed the western side of Florida’s peninsula, damage was reported nearly statewide. Agricultural impacts in Florida included wind damage to citrus and sugarcane, as well widespread flooding (from 10- to 20-inch rainfall totals) and long-duration power outages. Portions of Florida’s east coast also experienced storm-surge flooding.
Farther north, tropical storm force winds spread into Alabama, Georgia and parts of the Carolinas, threatening open-boll cotton, pecans and other tree nuts and forestry land. Damage assessments from high winds, flooding, and loss of electricity continued throughout the week and beyond.
Elsewhere, dry weather dominated the country for much of the week, favoring harvest activities and other fieldwork. However, cool conditions in the South and lower Midwest contrasted with late-season warmth across the North and West. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 5 degrees below normal in much of the Southeast, while readings averaged as much as 10 degrees above normal across the upper Midwest, which was beneficial for late-developing corn and soybeans.
Late in the week, an abrupt pattern change brought sharply cooler air to the Northwest – and warmer weather to the Southeast – as well as drought-easing precipitation to northern sections of the Rockies and Plains. The cool, wet weather aided wildfire containment efforts and boosted topsoil moisture for newly planted winter wheat. Although the Pacific Northwest remained dry, precipitation was approaching at week’s end.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports
Week ending Sept. 17

Warm and dry conditions accelerated crop maturity last week. Isolated precipitation was received in several counties, but most remained hot and dry again last week, causing concern for non-irrigated crop and rangeland conditions which have suffered from a continued lack of moisture.
Corn silage harvest progressed significantly with good conditions for fieldwork last week, but winter wheat planting remains behind in areas as producers wait for moisture to improve seeding conditions.
A reporter in the northeastern district noted that some dryland corn was harvested for silage last week in lieu of harvesting for grain due to dry conditions.
In the San Luis Valley, reporters noted that rain showers delayed fieldwork, but barley harvest was near completion. A reporter noted mountain pastures in these counties remain wet with continued moisture.
Statewide, corn was rated 65 percent good to excellent, compared with 74 percent last year and 56 percent on average.
Stored feed supplies were rated 1 percent short, 88 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus.
Sheep death loss was 52 percent average and 48 percent light. Cattle death loss was 78 percent average and 22 percent light.

Temperatures averaged four to eight degrees above normal. Precipitation ranged from half an inch to an inch across a majority of the State.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 10 percent very short, 33 short, 56 adequate, and 1 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 11 percent very short, 36 short, 52 adequate, and 1 surplus.
Dry edible bean harvest was underway in western counties. There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn condition rated 5 percent very poor, 9 poor, 24 fair, 44 good, and 18 excellent. Corn dented was 94 percent, equal to last year, and near 93 for the five-year average. Mature was 37 percent, behind 43 both last year and average. Harvested was 2 percent, equal to last year, but behind 7 average.
Soybean condition rated 4 percent very poor, 8 poor, 28 fair, 48 good, and 12 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 54 percent, ahead of 48 both last year and average. Harvested was 3 percent, near 2 both last year and average.
Winter wheat planted was 23 percent, behind 41 last year and 34 average.
Sorghum condition rated 3 percent very poor, 2 poor, 20 fair, 55 good, and 20 excellent. Sorghum coloring was 91 percent, behind 98 last year, but near 87 average. Mature was 30 percent, behind 39 last year, but ahead of 22 average. Harvested was 2 percent, near 0 both last year and average.
Alfalfa condition rated 4 percent very poor, 10 poor, 34 fair, 40 good, and 12 excellent. Alfalfa fourth cutting was 68 percent complete, ahead of 59 last year and 61 average.
Dry edible beans condition rated 9 percent very poor, 17 poor, 22 fair, 43 good, and 9 excellent. Dry edible beans dropping leaves was 76 percent, behind 89 last year and 85 average. Harvested was 35 percent, ahead of 27 last year and 30 average.
Proso millet harvested was 40 percent, ahead of 22 last year, but near 41 average.
Pasture and range conditions rated 5 percent very poor, 20 poor, 45 fair, 27 good, and 3 excellent.
Stock water supplies rated 2 percent very short, 10 short, 88 adequate, and 0 surplus.

Wyoming experienced warmer than normal temperatures for the week. Thirty-three of the 34 stations reported above average temperatures for the week with the high temperature of 95 degrees recorded at LaGrange, Sheridan, and Torrington. The low temperature for the week of 25 degrees was recorded at Lake Yellowstone.
Two stations (Evanston and Rock Springs) reported no precipitation and Lake Yellowstone had the most precipitation with 1.82 inches. Twenty-four stations received above normal precipitation.
A reporter from Northeastern Wyoming indicated that much needed moisture was received.
A reporter from North Central Wyoming noted that they got three days of nice rain. They also indicated that livestock look good.
A reporter from Southwestern Wyoming indicated that they had three days of rain and two nights of frost.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming indicated that it has been cool and dry, with fall cow work in full swing.
A reporter from Southeastern Wyoming reported that late summer conditions persist and they have gotten their first frost.
Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 10 percent very short, 31 percent short, and 59 percent adequate.


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