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SPONSORED CONTENT Livestock Wx for Oct. 13, 2017: Texas and New Mexico temperatures highest on record over the last 12 months. Be on the lookout for an update on the status of La Niña next week.
Over the last 12 months (October 2016-September 2017) average temperatures across Texas and New Mexico were the highest on record (going back to 1895) according to NOAA. Oklahoma experienced the sixth warmest on record. Precipitation was above average to much-above average for a large swath of the TSCRA region.
What is interesting about the high temperatures is that most of the warming was due to the fact that low-overnight temperatures remained high, which is highlighted in the image below. This could have been due to increased cloud cover, which has an insulating effect and keeps nighttime temperatures from cooling off. Of course, over the summer season this can have a real impact on cattle and their ability to regulate their temperature, which can lead to heat stress and loss of gain or poor body condition.
A note about climate divisions: NOAA developed climate divisions as a way to track long-term trends in temperature and precipitation. Most of the data go back to around 1895. There are 344 climate divisions for the contiguous United States (CONUS). Each month temperature and precipitation values are computed from the daily observations for each climate division. The values can be weighted by area to compute statewide values. Similar to many groups, Livestock Wx shows temperature and precipitation data by climate division because of the long-term nature of the data and the ability to show how a given year, season, or month ranks against the long-term average.
Up Next Week: Livestock Wx will discuss the status of the La Niña watch NOAA released last month.