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Connecting Ag to Climate: Recent and Current Conditions

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By Windy Kelly, Northern Plains Regional Climate Hub

Wyoming experienced its 36st warmest and 59th wettest June out of 126 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) database, retrieved July 28. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map for Wyoming from July 23, shows more than 85 percent of the state experiencing abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions. This is an increase in area and severity of conditions in some parts of Wyoming, for example, Sheridan, Johnson and Big Horn counties, compared to June 18. 

The current USDM map can be viewed at bit.ly/2S28VTA.

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

NOAA’s eight to 14 day forecast for Aug. 5-11, made July 28, is leaning towards below normal temperatures for the western half of Wyoming, 33 to 40 percent probability or chance. For the rest of the state, it is leaning towards near normal temperatures. 

Over the same timeframe, there is a 33 to 40 percent chance of below normal precipitation for all of Wyoming, the probability increases from east to west.

The August forecast for Wyoming, made July 16, indicates a 33 percent probability of above normal temperatures throughout the southern half of the state and equal chances of below, near or above normal for the rest of Wyoming. 

There is a 33 to 40 percent probability of above normal precipitation for the northeast corner of the state, with equal chances of below, near or above normal precipitation for the rest of Wyoming for the same timeframe. 

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

Grass-cast forecasts show potential rangeland production compared to the 38-year average for portions of eastern and central Wyoming. 

The current grass-cast maps can be viewed to learn what percent, pounds per acre, of rangeland vegetation might be expected if certain areas receive below, near or above normal precipitation between now and Aug. 31. These are available at grasscast.unl.edu/

Abnormally dry or drought conditions

Those experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions should consider taking a few minutes to submit a Condition Monitoring Observer Report to the National Drought Mitigation Center. The weblink is bit.ly/39C66jD.  

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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