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Livestock Wx for Sept. 8, 2017: Livestock Wx shows the latest on Hurricane Irma, recaps summer temperatures and rainfall and discusses forage status for TX, OK, and NM.
Hurricane Irma Update:
Hurricane Irma will move close to the north coast of Cuba and the central Bahamas Friday and Saturday and be near the southern Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula Sunday morning. As Irma moves northwest it will be passing over extremely warm water, which along with low wind shear, are two ingredients that fuel and sustain hurricanes.
For Hurricane Irma Tracking Map Click Here
Irma ranks as one of the strongest hurricanes on record. Irma’s sustained winds of 185 mph for more than 24 hours is a record length of time for an Atlantic hurricane. A duration of a category 5 hurricane for more than two days is also close to a record.
Summer Temperatures, Rainfall, and Forage Status
As we enter the final weeks of the summer, we thought it would be good idea to briefly review the craziness that was August in terms of rainfall and temperature and how that fits into the large summer context. Oklahoma saw its ninth coolest August on record (since 1895) and its third wettest. Thanks to Harvey Texas saw its wettest month on record and New Mexico was a bit more even for August, with the month firmly sitting in the top 1/3 wettest on record. These trends are consistent for the summer to date, which is shown in the below image.
August temperatures and rainfall have been conducive to forage growth across the TSCRA region. Pasture and range ratings by USDA (below image) show only 5 percent of Oklahoma pasture and range is rated as Poor or Very Poor while Texas and New Mexico pasture and rangeland are rated at 16 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
As Derrell Peel from Oklahoma State Extension pointed out last week on SUNNUP-TV (http://sunup.okstate.edu/) the cool and wet August could result in a longer grazing period if producers can get a head start on these favorable conditions. But since state ranking doesn’t tell the whole story, we have also included an image of VegDRI that shows the impact of dry/drought conditions on vegetation at a high resolution across the U.S. As you can see, the USDA state rankings are pretty much confirmed (green areas indicate Unusually Moist to Very Moist conditions), however, South and Far West Texas along with parts of New Mexico are seeing some impacts to vegetation due to dry conditions. Going forward into the rest of September and October, we are starting to see some signs that we could be returning to drier than normal conditions. We’ll cover that in a bit more detail next week.
What to Expect Over The Next 8-14 Days
NOAA forecasts indicate there is a slight chance most of Texas, south of the Panhandle, will have below-normal rainfall, while Oklahoma and New Mexico should expect near normal conditions over the next 8-14 days. For temperature, the I-35 corridor in Texas will be the dividing line with areas west of the interstate having a slight chance of above average temperatures while those areas to the east should expect below-normal temperatures. New Mexico could also see higher than normal temperatures while Oklahoma will should see near normal conditions. -LSWx