Connecting Ag to Climate Recent and Current Conditions
Published on Feb. 1, 2020
Wyoming’s overall average December temperature and precipitation ranked 89th and 42nd, respectively, out of the 125 years.
The adjacent tables highlight minimum and maximum temperatures, and precipitation rankings and anomalies, compared to the last century, for select counties, for the month of December. The adjacent table also includes precipitation details for October-December, i.e., water year to date, for select counties.
The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map for Wyoming, from Jan. 21, indicates that abnormally dry conditions persisted in areas of Carbon, Sweetwater, Uinta, Lincoln, Teton, Park, Fremont and Sublette counties since Dec. 31.
However, the ‘footprint’ of abnormally dry conditions decreased in Lincoln, Teton and Sublette counties. Abnormally dry conditions expanded to include eastern Park County – and most of Big Horn County. View the current USDM maps at weather.gov/riw/drought. Citizens can help inform the USDM by submitting conditions and impacts at droughtreporter.unl.edu/submitreport/.
The snow water equivalent (SWE) throughout Wyoming ranges from 76-133 percent of normal according to the Jan. 29 USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Snow Telemetry Report.
The two areas with the lowest SWE are the southern portion of Fremont County just north of the Great Divide Basin at 76 percent and the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park at 95 percent . View the current SWE map at colorado.edu/climate/dashboard.html.
Eight to 14-Day and 1-Month Forecasts
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) eight to 14-day forecasts for Feb. 5-11, made Jan. 28, indicates a 33-50 percent chance or probability of below normal temperatures for most of Wyoming. The exception is the northeast corner of the state – where there is an equal chance for below, near, or above normal temperatures. There is a 33-50 percent probability for above normal precipitation throughout the entire state for the same timeframe – with the probability increasing from the southwest to the northeast corner of the state.
The forecast for February, made Jan. 16, indicates a 33-40 percent probability for above normal temperatures for southwestern Wyoming – and a 33 percent probability for below normal temperatures in the northeast corner of the state.
For the same timeframe, there is an equal chance of below, near, or above normal temperatures for the remainder of the state. There is a 33-40 percent probability for above normal precipitation throughout Wyoming in February. To view NOAA’s most recent forecasts, visit cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.
Windy K. Kelley is the regional extension program coordinator and state specialist for the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub, University of Wyoming Extension and WAFERx. She can be reached at email@example.com / 307.367.4325.