Connecting ag to climate: Recent and current conditions
By Windy Kelley
Wyoming experienced its 20th warmest and 23rd driest January out of 127 years according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Center for Environmental Information database, retrieved Feb. 24.
The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map for Wyoming, from Feb. 18, shows greater than six percent of Wyoming is experiencing abnormally dry conditions, while an additional 91.25 percent is experiencing moderate to extreme drought.
The current USDM map can be viewed at bit.ly/2S28VTA and individuals should consider submitting a Condition Monitoring Observer Report at bit.ly/3c4WRLR.
The snow water equivalent (SWE) ranges from 23 to 111 percent of normal throughout Wyoming according to the Feb. 24 U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service SNOTEL report. The two areas with the lowest SWE are the South Platte Basin in the southeastern corner of Wyoming with 23 percent and the Sweetwater Basin, located just north of the Great Divide Basin, at 67 percent.
The current SWE map can be viewed at bit.ly/3aQp4W0.
Eight to 14-day and one-month forecasts
NOAA’s eight to 14-day forecast for March 3-9, made Feb. 23, shows a 33 to 40 percent probability or chance for below normal temperatures for the western third of Wyoming and a 33 percent probability for above normal temperatures for the tip of the northeast corner.
There is an equal chance of below, near, or above normal temperatures for the remainder of the state. For the same timeframe, there is a 40 percent probability of below normal precipitation for all of Wyoming.
The March forecast, made Feb. 18, indicates a 40 percent probability for below normal temperatures for the greater northwestern corner of Wyoming. There is a 33 percent probability for above normal temperatures for the tip of the southeast corner of the state, while there is an equal chance for below, near or above normal temperatures for the rest of Wyoming.
For the same timeframe, there is a 33 percent probability of above normal precipitation for the northwestern corner and a 33 percent probability of below normal precipitation in the southeast corner of the state. There is an equal chance of below, near or above normal precipitation for the remainder of Wyoming.
To view more NOAA forecasts, visit cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.
Windy K. Kelley is the regional Extension program coordinator and state specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Northern Plains Climate Hub, University of Wyoming Extension and WAFERx. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-367-4380.