Below normal to normal temps, moisture predicted ahead of La Niña

Written by Windy Kelley

Near average temperatures and precipitation prevailed across Wyoming for August. This continued for temperatures in September and early October throughout most of Wyoming.

September and early October precipitation was above normal for over half of the state, including most of western Wyoming. Both treds are illustrated in the maps to the right.

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map from Oct. 3 shows abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions in the northeast part of the state.

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

Forecasts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) eight- to 14-day forecast for Oct. 18-24, which was made on Oct. 10, indicates below normal temperatures in western Wyoming, above normal in eastern and normal in the central part of the state.

The precipitation forecast for the same time frame is below normal for eastern Wyoming and normal throughout the rest of the state.

The one-month forecast for October, which was made Sept. 30, indicates below normal temperatures for the entire state and above normal precipitation for nearly the entire state.

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

La Niña

The chances of a La Niña occurring in early winter have increased. The effects of La Niña are hard to determine, especially for Wyoming.

That said, typically during a La Niña, the jet stream stays along the U.S.-Canadian border, resulting in wetter than normal winters for western Wyoming and drier, more mild winters for the southeastern part of the state.

To learn more about La Niña, including temperature patterns for every La Niña winter since 1950, read NOAA’s story at goo.gl/kM9aWB.

Ag considerations

Fall is a busy time of year for agriculture around the state. Livestock are being moved from summer pastures to the home-place for weaning and shipping, and corn, sugar beets and other crops are being harvested. 

After these fall tasks are done, take time to review your business plan and priorities. One question to ask is, “How can I increase the resilience of my operation to risk, including weather variability?”

Put your ideas down on paper. List the additional information you need and how or from whom you might find the information.

Featured resources

There are a number of resources available to look at when reviewing your business plan.

University of Wyoming (UW) information on use of grass-legume mixtures to improve forage yield, quality and stand persistence can be found at goo.gl/ieycP8.

Additionally, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service provides information on adaptive management and matching forage demand with forage production at goo.gl/K971Mb.

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.