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LivestockWx for the week of July 23, 2018: A Texas Negative Feedback Loop?
The following image shows the maximum number of consecutive dry days. Note that a large part of Texas and scattered areas of surrounding states have experienced at least 15 consecutive rain-free days (yellow shades).
Vegetative condition is poor (orange and red shades) within many of these regions.
Could there be a linkage between these very dry soils and poor vegetation and future rainfall?
A negative feedback loop starts when precipitation deviates from what is normally expected for a given time of year. The lack of precipitation reduces upper soil moisture which then leads to reduced evaporation and evapotranspiration (ET). Reduced ET restricts the local movement of moisture into the air which tends to reduce cloud cover, decrease summer storms, and increase temperatures.
There are signs that a negative feedback loop might be in place over these areas of prolonged lack of rainfall.
Note the temperature departure over the past 2 weeks. Areas in orange and red show regions with unusually hot temperatures.
It is likely that the dry soils are heating up more than normal — and also reducing evapotranspiration. This lack of moisture being released into the lower atmosphere could be reducing daily changes for rain — a negative feedback loop.
A major weather pattern shift, or an inland-moving tropical system, is needed to break this cycle.
Right now, the 6-10 and 8-14-day NOAA outlooks calls for the possibility of more rain within this region. Right now, however, it does not look like it will be enough to break the current cycle.
In fact, it would take an additional 9 to 12 inches of rain to fully replenish soil moisture over parts of Texas.
Next Livestock Weather LIVE! Webinar
Find out more about this feedback loop in the next LIVE! Webinar, which will be held this Thursday, July 26. We will discuss the forecast for August and for the August-September-October season. We will also update everyone on the prospects for El Niño this fall/winter.
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