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Connecting Ag to Climate: Recent and Current Conditions

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Wyoming experienced its 95thwarmest and 17thdriest May out of 126 years according to National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) database, retrieved June 22. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map for Wyoming, from June 18, shows an expansion of abnormally dryto moderate drought conditions to cover nearly 76 percent of the state. 

The current USDM map can be viewed atbit.ly/2S28VTA, and condition reports can be submitted at bit.ly/34fGerf.

Eight to 14-day, one-month and grass-cast forecasts

NOAA’s eight to 14-day forecast for July 1-7, made June 23, is leaning towards below-normal temperatures for the western half of Wyoming with a 33 to 40 percent probability or chance. For the eastern edge of the state, it is leaning slightly towards above-normaltemperatures with a 33 percent probability. 

For areas in between, there are equal chances for above, near orbelow normal temperatures.

 Over the same timeframe, there is a 33 to 40 percent chance of above-normalprecipitation for the majority of Wyoming. An exception is the southern portion of Sweetwater County, into western Carbon County, which has equal chances for above, near or below normalprecipitation.

The July forecast for Wyoming, made June 18, indicates a 50 percent probability of above normaltemperatures throughout the state and a 33 to 40 percent probability of below normalprecipitation. 

To view more NOAA forecasts, visit cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

The latest grass-cast maps, made June 16, suggest, for portions of eastern and central Wyoming, if these areas receive above normalprecipitation between now and Aug. 31, they should still expect five to 30 percent lesspounds per acre of rangeland vegetationcompared to a 38-year average. 

If these areas instead receive nearor below normalprecipitation for the rest of the growing season, then production could be reduced by 30 percent compared to the 38-year average, if not worse.

 For zoomable grass-cast maps, visitbit.ly/2Yqhuer.

To learn about USDA drought programs and assistance, visit bit.ly/2Nqp2Yk.Also, consider exploring the National Drought Mitigation Center’s Managing Drought Risk on the Ranchatbit.ly/2Bvbc4a.

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 wkelley1@uwyo.edu or 307-367-4325.

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