SPONSORED CONTENT: Livestock Wx, a provider of weather information for stock producers, talks heat, moisture and how the summer forecast is shaping up for cattle raisers across the country and here in the Southwest. As drought conditions expand in the Northern Plains, forecasts call for continued hot temperatures across Texas and Oklahoma for the rest of the summer.
Drought continues to intensify in the Northern Plains
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows expansion of drought across the Dakotas and eastern Montana. The ridge of high pressure over the region continues to bring hot and dry conditions and we have seen an expansion of Extreme Drought (D3) in the region. Approximately 3 million head of cattle are in the region hardest hit by the drought.
Closer to home, Oklahoma saw some spotty improvements for dry areas around the state, though, Moderate Drought (D1) was introduced around El Reno, Oklahoma and for Texas and Beaver counties in the Oklahoma Panhandle. In Texas, Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions were expanded into the area around Austin as was Moderate Drought (D1) around New Braunfels. Drought improvement occurred in West-Central Texas and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
There are quite a few long-range climate models that make predictions from the next few weeks to the next year or more. The National Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) is one such model. The NMME is different from most other models in that it is comprised of a set, or average, of multiple climate models.
With the persistent heat over the western U.S., and lack of recent rainfall elsewhere, it might be of interest to review the latest NMME outlooks.
Temperatures through the summer
According to the NMME, the unusual heat over the west is likely to persist into September. While perhaps not as persistent or intense, it looks like near- to modestly-above-average temperatures can be expected over Oklahoma and Texas the rest of the summer.
Orange = Probability of Above Normal Temperatures
Blue = Probability of Below Normal Temperatures
Rainfall across Texas and Oklahoma through the summer
Summer rainfall patterns are very hard to predict due to scattered coverage, however, the NMME does indicate regional drought over the western U.S. Interestingly, NMME shows near- or above-average late summer rainfall over parts of Texas and near-normal rainfall over Oklahoma.
Green = Probability of Above Normal Rainfall
Brown = Probability of Below Normal Rainfall
As we move into the second half the summer Livestock Wx will continue to monitor conditions for Texas and the Southwest and we will keep you updated on the ongoing drought in the Northern Plains. For information about weather conditions in your area and the potential impacts to livestock, please contact Livestock Wx at firstname.lastname@example.org.