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Dry Weather Creeps Back Across Wyoming Going into Fall Months

Written by Windy Kelley

July temperatures in Wyoming ranged from normal to 10 degrees above normal at all stations throughout the state. The state, as a whole, experienced its ninth warmest July on record since 1894. July precipitation was below normal statewide, except in the northeast and south-central parts of the state, which received near-normal precipitation.

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map from Sept. 5 shows abnormally dry and drought conditions have persisted and expanded throughout Wyoming since July 25. Campbell and Crook counties have seen an expansion of abnormally dry and severe drought conditions. Additionally, the northern swath of these counties have entered severe drought.

Abnormally dry conditions have developed throughout a significant portion of Teton, Sublette, Lincoln, Uinta, Sweetwater, Carbon, Platte and Goshen counties and in northern parts of Park and Big Horn counties.

View current USDM maps at weather.gov/riw/drought and a drought timeline for your county at wrds.uwyo.edu/drought/timelines/timelines.html.

Help us help you by submitting drought condition reports to the National Drought Mitigation Center at droughtreporter.unl.edu/submitreport. You can include other weather related information such as flood impacts. Photos are appreciated.

Looking forward

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) eight- to 14-day forecast, which was made Sept. 12 for Sept. 20-26, shows a greater chance for below normal temperatures throughout all of Wyoming. The precipitation forecast for the same time period is above normal for all of Wyoming.

The one-month forecast for September, made Aug. 17, in Wyoming shows a greater chance for above normal temperatures for most of the state. Southeast Wyoming is the exception – having an equal chance for above, below or normal temperatures.

The one-month precipitation forecast shows an equal chance of above, below and normal precipitation for the entire state.

To view NOAA’s most recent forecasts, visit cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

Ag considerations

The eight- to 14-day and one-month forecasts give a rough idea of what to expect during the next 30 days. However, we all know weather fluctuates day-to-day, and temperature and precipitation extremes can occur unexpectedly.

As you map out your late summer and early fall activities – such as moving livestock closer to the home place and weaning calves – consider whether your operation has enough flexibility to delay or advance these activities by a few days – or even a few weeks, to mitigate impacts to livestock due to potential weather extremes.

Featured resources

Did you know NOAA updates the eight- to 14-day forecast daily, or you can contact your local National Weather Service (NWS) Office 24 hours a day with specific, near-term weather questions for your area.

Five NWS offices serve Wyomingites. The Cheyenne office, which can be reached at 307-772-2468, covers eastern Wyoming. Riverton’s office covers western and central Wyoming and is available at 307-857-3898. For producers in Uinta County, Salt Lake City, Utah’s NWS office can be reached at 801-524-5133. The Billings, Mont. office covers Sheridan County and is available at 406-652-0851, and Rapid City, S.D.’s office can be reached at 605-341-9271 for producers in Campbell, Crook and Weston counties.

Another featured resource for this month is RightRiskTM – a partnership among the University of Wyoming (UW) Extension, Colorado State University Extension and the University of Nebraska Extension, which helps decision-makers discover innovative and effective risk management solutions.

Visit their website at RightRisk.org to learn more or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to subscribe to their monthly newsletter.

Remember to plan, monitor, know your alternatives and adapt as needed.

This article was written by UW Extension and USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub Regional Extension Program Coordinator Windy Kelley. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 307-766-2205. The column was reviewed by Wyoming Water Resources Data System Deputy Director Tony Bergantino and Justin Derner of USDA Agricultural Research Service. Dannelle Peck of USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub also reviewed the article.