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SPONSORED CONTENT Livestock Wx for Oct. 20, 2017: It’s looking like La Niña is on its way. Get the latest on what conditions to expect for the 2017-2018 winter.
Winter is Coming and Bringing La Niña With It
A weak La Nina is expected to persist through the winter months in the U.S. While the La Niña is expected to be weak, it will peak during the winter months. A wintertime La Niña tends to lead towards colder-than-normal weather over the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes and mild and dry weather over the southern tier of the nation. The image below shows precipitation patterns for previous weak La Niña winters. As you can see, La Niña doesn’t always produce conditions that are expected.
There is an underlying long-term warming of winter temperatures, especially since the 1980’s, so there is a good chance this winter could bring above-normal temperatures.
Winter Precipitation Outlook for the U.S.
Wetter-than-average conditions are expected across most of the northern U.S., extending from the northern Rockies, to the eastern Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, in Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.
Increased odds of drier-than-normal conditions are expected across the entire southern U.S. and specifically for the TSCRA region.
Winter Temperature Outlook for the U.S.
There are increased odds of a warmer-than-normal winter across the southern two-thirds of the continental U.S., along the East Coast, across Hawaii and in western and northern Alaska.
Below-average temperatures are favored along the northern tier of the country from Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest and in southeastern Alaska.
The image below shows the NOAA seasonal outlooks for precipitation and temperature along with cattle inventories for the contiguous U.S.
What Livestock Wx is Watching: Extreme wildfires notwithstanding, drought could be a concern next year for California. At present, 90-day precipitation deficits are 50 percent (or below) of normal for several parts of the state. USDA also recently rated topsoil moisture at 80 percent short to very short. This is not too surprising given California is coming out of the driest part of their year, BUT, as the La Niña graphic above shows, California has experienced dry winters during these weak La Niña events. If November-December (California’s wettest time of the year) precipitation is not normal or above-normal, California cattle producers could see some issues with forage production next year.
Here at Livestock Wx, we will be tracking the California conditions through the winter.