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Don Day, Jr. presents at the WBA Conference

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Day Weather, Inc. President and Meteorologist Don Day, Jr. offered a long-range weather outlook for 2024 and provided a critical look at climate policy during the annual Agriculture Bankers Conference, held May 16-17 at the Bomber Mountain Civic Center in Buffalo and hosted by the Wyoming Bankers Association (WBA).

Day recapped last year’s spring conditions, indicating Wyoming’s greener spring occurred due to Pacific changes from La Niña to El Niño. 

“When there is more water vapor in the air in the subtropical Pacific, we will have more rain and snow, and last year it was perfectly timed,” Day stated. “It was also responsible for the decent snowpack here and in the Central and Southern Rockies for the last two years.”

According to Day, Wyoming is no longer affected by El Niño, but La Niña is coming back. Although conditions will be drier, Day does not predict a severe drought.

2024 outlook

“As the Pacific changes phases, the jet stream has pushed north, and El Niño jet streams are pushing south,” Day said. “This means we are going to be in La Niña by July, bringing afternoon and evening thunderstorms. This will be a big source of rain for us, but it will be a weaker-than-average monsoon season.”

Day noted according to the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) between June 1 to Aug. 3, Wyoming is predicted to be an inch to two inches below average summer precipitation.

However, the Climate Forecast System (CFS) reports above-average summer precipitation for the same date range, which Day believes is “terribly optimistic.” 

“The ECMWF model tends to report drier conditions, whereas the CFS model tends to report wetter conditions, but the Canadian Global Environmental Multiscale Model reports a little of both,” he said.

Utilizing all three models to predict summer temperatures is a good compromise and lends to warmer – but not terribly hot – temperatures for Wyoming. 

“If I’m concerned about the dryness this summer, it would be the I-80 corridor in Southwest Wyoming because the monsoon season is weaker there. This part of the state will not see afternoon and evening thunderstorms,” he said.

Day noted Wyoming residents need to pay attention to the equator between South America and Northeast Australia. As water gets colder, then warmer, La Niña will go straight through the summer and into fall but will fade at the beginning of winter.

“Currently, the Indian Ocean and parts of the Central and Northern Atlantic Ocean are in a cooling trend going into fall and winter this year,” he said. “If it stays a bit warmer up north and cooler down south, we will have a cold winter.”

Climate policy

“When it comes to laws being passed and policies being enacted, everyone needs to be aware of what is happening,” Day stated. 

He presented information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

The IPCC is a United Nations body which assesses science related to climate change. The primary objective of the panel is to disseminate and help develop climate policy.

Day said, “Even the IPCC working group reported long-term predictions of future climate conditions is impossible because the climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system.”

During the presentation, Day updated the group on RCP8.5, which represents the worst-case climate change scenario by 2050 and is driving policy decisions. 

“There are three other protocols out there to help drive these decisions, but unfortunately the federal government is only utilizing RCP8.5 projections. The model is 13 years old,” he stated. “The other model’s climatologists have predicted the climate future is much better.”

He continued, “Our weather is not following the RCP8.5 trend right now, and the model should not be used.”

Researchers are calling attention to RCP8.5 as an unreliable source to predict the future of climate change.

Roger Pielke, Jr., a University of Colorado professor in the environmental studies department, has been challenging RCP8.5.

In a Feb. 19 blog post, Pielke stated, “Even though the climate community knows RCP8.5 is outdated and misleading, peer-reviewed studies using the scenario continue to be published at a rate of approximately 25 times per day. Climate advocates and the media promote some of these studies. In 2020, there were 17,000-plus RCP8.5 studies in the literature, and now the number sits at more than 45,000.”

Even the Biden administration relied on RCP8.5 to justify its liquefied natural gas export pause.

“There is a disconnect between what is being observed and what the RCP8.5 model is actually representing,” Day concluded. “The question we should ask is why we are creating policies based on a fantasy model which has no chance of being real.”

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

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