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Livestock Wx for March 14, 2019: By the Numbers
1997-1998 El Niño
The wettest winter on record with an average of 8.99 inches of precipitation for the contiguous U.S. That is, until this year. The 2018-2019 clocked in with an average of 9 inches of moisture just beating out the mega El Niño of the late 90s.
5 percentage points
The change in the area of Texas considered in drought. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed approximately 20 percent of the state in drought. This week’s map has that percentage down to about 15 percent. The Panhandle and Far West Texas observed some decent moisture in the past week and is the reason for the decrease.
7 days of dry weather
The next week (through March 21) should be relatively dry for most of Texas and Oklahoma. The TX/OK Panhandle and northwest OK could see some minor precipitation. South Texas could see the most moisture in the 3/4-1 inch range.
California is now officially drought-free for the first time since Dec. 20, 2011. Until this week some part of the state had been in drought for 376 consecutive weeks. That beats Texas that saw a string of 276 weeks from May 2010 to July 2015 and Oklahoma, which observed 261 weeks in about the same time period between 2010 and 2015.
49 counties in Kansas
The number of counties in Kansas that have observed their top ten wettest winters on record. Mitchell and Washington Counties observed their wettest on record.
3” of snow/hr and 30mph winds
What some were reporting on Wednesday, March 14 during the winter storm (aka Bomb Cyclone) that clobbered the Northern Plains. Many parts of the Dakotas observed their second or third coldest February on record. Auction reports are seeing a decline in cattle condition and cattle feeders are seeing reduced performance. The intensity of this storm has certainly not helped as many or in the middle of calving. Send good thoughts up north, it has been a rough winter!