Connecting ag to climate: Recent and current conditions
By Windy Kelley
Wyoming experienced its third warmest and fifth driest August in 126 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) database, retrieved Sept. 23.
Scaling down to the county level, 13 of Wyoming’s 23 counties set record average maximum temperatures ranging between 5.7 to 7.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer – Converse and Laramie counties, respectively. The adjacent tables show additional August temperature and precipitation information for select counties.
The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map for Wyoming, from Sept. 17, shows nearly 21 percent of Wyoming is abnormally dry, nearly 25 percent in is moderate drought, nearly 29 percent is in severe drought, and more than 19 percent is in extreme drought.
The current USDM map can be viewed at bit.ly/2S28VTA.
Eight- to 14-day and one-month forecasts
NOAA’s eight- to 14-day forecast for Oct. 1-7, made Sept. 23, is leaning towards above-normal temperatures for all of Wyoming with a 50 to 70 percent probability or chance.
For the same timeframe, there is a 40 to 50 percent probability of below-normal precipitation for all of Wyoming.
The October forecast for Wyoming, made Sept. 17, indicates a 33 to 40 percent probability of above-normal temperatures throughout Wyoming. There is a 33 percent probability of below-normal precipitation from Sweetwater County, east to the Wyoming and Nebraska border.
There are equal chances of below, near or above normal precipitation for the rest of the state.
To view more NOAA 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 or 307-367-4325.