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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Weather outlook provided

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Producers from across the West gathered in Loveland, Colo. to hear from national and international industry experts at the 28th Annual Range Beef Cow Symposium at The Ranch Events Complex Dec. 13-14.

The biennial event is sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service and animal science departments of the University of Wyoming, South Dakota State University, University of Nebraska and Colorado State University.

Guest speaker Brian Bledsoe, lead weather consultant at Brian BledsoeWX, LLC and KKTV chief meteorologist, provided symposium attendees with a review and outlook of national weather. 

For the past 20 years, Bledsoe has been assisting farmers, ranchers and other interested parties on how to utilize long-range and short-range weather forecasting for business risk management.

Bledsoe noted, “I’m a forensic scientist. I look at all of the evidence I have at my disposal and all I have learned and taught to help producers understand and make important decisions.”

Pacific decadal oscillation

“I talk a lot about the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), which is a climatic event covering vast areas of the Pacific Ocean over large periods of years, and currently, we are seeing some warm spots in the Indian Ocean. Overall, the Pacific Ocean is in a very cold phase right now,” Bledsoe stated.

The PDO has positive and negative phases, and climate impacts during a PDO event can go hand-in-hand with impacts from El Niño or La Niña and can wax and wane approximately every 20 to 30 years.

If both phenomena are in the same phase, their associated impacts can be amplified or just the opposite – the associated impacts on global climate may be reduced.

“Looking back in history, I have gone past 1950 and cannot find a single year matching up with what we have going on right now,” he added. “Utilizing metrics suggests this El Niño does not have the staying power it should have and will see itself out by February.”

Bledsoe remarked, “The European weather model shows in March the Pacific Ocean will still be warmer than average, but by the time we head into June, we will go backwards. The transition into 2024 may be the single most seasonal weather forecast metric there’s going to be.”

Madden-Julian oscillation

The Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) is a tropical disturbance which propagates eastward around the global tropics with a cycle on the order of 30 to 60 days and has a wide range impact on the patterns of tropical and extratropical precipitation, atmospheric circulation and surface temperature around the global tropics and subtropics. 

There is evidence  the MJO influences the El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycle. It does not cause El Niño or La Niña, but can contribute to the speed of development and intensity of El Niño and La Niña episodes. 

“For the past three winters, the MJO has been locked clear over in Australia and Indonesia and can’t cycle across the Pacific, resulting in dry conditions,” Bledsoe explained. “Right now, it looks like the MJO will favor the remaining phases for most this El Niño, which is a good sign for the south and south-central U.S. to receive moisture.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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