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Livestock Wx for Oct. 4, 2018: Welcome to the 2019 Water Year!
This week starts the beginning of the 2019 Water Year. For those not familiar with the idea of a water year, it is the period of time that runs between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30 of the following year.
Meteorologists and climatologists like to use the water year because it better tracks things like the beginning of soil moisture recharge in the fall since it coincides with the start of grasses going into dormancy. It also helps us understand where we are when spring arrives and we can start assessing areas that have precipitation and soil moisture deficits as the growing season begins. The water year is also heavily used in the Mountain West states because it helps them track snowpack and how much water might be running off the mountains in the spring during the spring snowmelt.
For those that are interested the below image shows how we ended things for the 2018 Water Year and how that compares to the U.S. Drought Monitor that was released this morning (Thursday, Oct. 4). Given how we started the water year last October (remember that long string of days without any moisture in the TX/OK Panhandle?) we didn’t end up too bad. Of course, the Panhandle, the Rolling Plains, and parts of West Texas still have large deficits and will need to be watched closely as we move through the fall and winter.
The image below shows that over the next 7-days the moisture picture could improve for some of these areas seeing deficits. Most of the moisture will be coming in over the weekend and the first part of next week. Over here at Livestock Wx we’ll keep our fingers crossed this puts a dent into some of these long-term deficits!