Seasonal Drought Outlook Update for Apr-May-Jun 3.2M Beef Cows Could be in Drought by end of June

Seasonal Drought Outlook Update for Apr-May-Jun 3.2M Beef Cows Could be in Drought by end of June

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook was released on March 19, 2020, and is valid from March 19 to June 30, 2020.  It is a subjective assessment of the U.S. Drought Monitor and the NOAA Three Month Outlooks.  The Outlook helps predict whether drought will emerge, stay the same or get better in the next three months.

The Seasonal Drought Outlook for the next three months shows a relatively large area along the West Coast and Southwest will be experiencing drought.  Florida has also popped as an area to watch after experiencing one of their warmest and driest March’s on record.

Daily Image: Seasonal Drought Outlook Update for Mar-Apr-May. 1.8M Beef Cows Could be in Drought by June

Daily Image: Seasonal Drought Outlook Update for Mar-Apr-May. 1.8M Beef Cows Could be in Drought by June

The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook was released on February 20, 2020, and is valid from February 20 to May 31, 2020.  It is a subjective assessment of the U.S. Drought Monitor and the NOAA Three Month Outlooks.  The Outlook helps predict whether drought will emerge, stay the same or get better in the next three months.

The Seasonal Drought Outlook for the next three months shows a relatively large area along the West Coast and Southwest will be experiencing drought.

Anyone can Look at Average Precipitation. Don’t Be Average! Check Out Livestock Wx’s Latest Product for Estimating Precipitation Frequency

Anyone can Look at Average Precipitation. Don’t Be Average! Check Out Livestock Wx’s Latest Product for Estimating Precipitation Frequency

Livestock Wx is proud to release a new product called the County Precipitation Tool.

The Tool gives livestock producers the ability to see how often precipitation has been below, average, or above average for any given county in the contiguous U.S. for a month or a range of months. In short, the tool allows a person the ability to see the odds of getting more or less precipitation than average for their county.  In most cases, average precipitation does not quite capture how an area experiences precipitation.

The reason for this is that unlike temperature, precipitation does not have a “bell curve” distribution where the average temperature reflects pretty well the most commonly occurring temperature for a season, month, or day.  For most days of the year precipitation is zero but if you were to average the amount of daily precipitation for say Fort Worth, TX, you would get an average daily precipitation of 0.1” (36.7” divided by 365 days).  Anyone from Fort Worth feel like a tenth of inch of precipitation per day is a fair representation of how you experience rainfall (or a Texan’s worst nightmare ice)?

We are used to thinking in averages but for precipitation it is probably more helpful to think about it in terms of frequency of the most commonly occurring amounts for a season, month, or whatever timeframe you might be interested in looking at.  That is what the Tool we are introducing today will allow you to do.  The tool uses data from NOAA going back to 1895. We have also created a guide on how to use the product, which can be downloaded below.

The Tool was developed by Dr. Becky Bolinger from Colorado State University and came out of a discussion with the East Co Group, who is a provider of the Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Insurance.  Dr. Bolinger wrote an article on the topic in November of last year.  We will be reposting that article in the coming days for those that would like to see a slightly deeper dive on the topic.

Please take a test-drive of the Precipitation Tool and let us know if you have any questions or ways it could be improved.

County Precipitation Tool

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Water Year Update: Winners and Losers…So Far

Water Year Update: Winners and Losers…So Far

Here at Livestock Wx we thought it would be good to do a check-in on how the 2020 Water Year is looking so far and who the early winners and losers in terms of precipitation.  Please note, however, that just like not enough precipitation is problematic, too much of it can be just as bad if not worse.

So far, there are some clear “winners” so far and that includes most of the eastern half of the country while parts of Texas and the West could be considered in the “loser” or not enough moisture category.  Some places like the Pacific Northwest have had a very strong last couple of months so we expect parts of that area to come back somewhat.

NMME Outlooks for Mar-Apr-May

NMME Outlooks for Mar-Apr-May

The North American Multi-Model Ensemble forecast, or NMME, was released this week.  The NMME is a collaboration of the National Weather Service and several university partners to produce a consensus seasonal forecast using a suite of different climate models.

The models are indicating pretty good odds for above average temperatures (see temperature map below: orange-dark orange equals higher odds of above normal temperatures) in the March-April-May timeframe and a minor tilt in the odds for less-than average precipitation in New Mexico, Far West Texas, and the Panhandle (see precipitation map below: green colors equals higher odds of above normal precipitation).  The eastern half of the county as well as parts of the Northern Plains/Midwest have an increased chance of above normal precipitation potentially adding to what has been a fairly wet year.

NOAA will release its official outlooks for March-April-May next Thursday (Feb. 20th).  Since they utilize the NMME models in their official forecast consider this a sneak preview.

Temperature Forecast

Precipitation Forecast