Friday, May 10, 2024

Beneficial Rains becoming likely!

It's been quite a while since widespread rains have benefited much of the high plains.  This spring the weather systems have either been too fast (bad timing), air aloft has been too warm, or simply there hasn't been enough boundary layer moisture.  Since it's getting later into the spring, boundary layer moisture will become more abundant.  Plus, at least for this next few weeks, systems will be slower to move across the plains and the associated Elevated Mixed Layer (EML or warm air aloft) will not be quite as pronounced.  The result will be increasing amounts of rainfall and should cover a larger area geographically.  Here is a look at how much the Weather Prediction Center is forecasting through next Friday the 17th.

The very long term outlooks provided by Hutton Weather Futures (HWF) have been consistently accurate.  This period coming up for mid-May was expected to have much better odds of having beneficial rain (outlook was made in December) and it appears that is in the offing. Clients of HWF have the benefit of being able to plan ahead for various operations such as applying herbicides earlier/later, planting earlier/later, seed population, etc., etc..  There has been great success!

For more detail, consider joining the growing number of crop and livestock producers and businesses that have subscribed to Hutton Weather Futures to receive weekly detailed reports!

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Thursday, March 21, 2024

Rapid changes taking place across the Equatorial Pacific

The well advertised transition from El Nino into a probable La Nina has taking place rapidly early this spring.   For some time, buoys across the Pacific have show much below normal water temperatures below the surface of the ocean, stretching from South America all the way to the Maritime Continents.  Upwelling has been ongoing and "suddenly" water temperatures below normal have been observed at the surface near South America.  

This rapid transition does not guarantee that we'll be seeing a La Nina later this year and going into 2025, but forecast model agreement certainly points in that direction.

How will this development impact the weather pattern across the High Plains?  The pattern has been setup for some time - that is, it's active but yet weather system behavior has been somewhat erratic for the plains.   The outlook through the summer has been generated, including precipitation chances and temperature trends.  I have identified 4 specific periods this spring and summer where an extended period of excessive heat is expected.  But with that, there are several periods of opportunity for rainfall later this spring that may mitigate some of the heat, at least initially in the growing season.  For more detail, consider joining the growing number of  crop and livestock producers and businesses that have subscribed to Hutton Weather Futures to receive weekly detailed outlook reports. 

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Friday, January 19, 2024

Winter makes an appearance after all!

December was unusually "mild" comparatively speaking despite there being signs of cold across the northern hemisphere.  Often, in winter, Arctic cold will dislodge to towards the equator but is confined to the "other side" of the hemisphere, across Europe and Siberia.  Such was the case early this winter.  But, if you recall there was a pretty decent outbreak of cold into the central U.S. back in October.  Specifically the last 4 or 5 days in October and into November when daily average temperatures were 15 to 25 below normal.  It was only a matter of time before the atmosphere aligned to bring the true Arctic air into the central U.S..

Low temperatures across Kansas during the outbreak reached at least -22 F (air temperature, not wind chill).  

Low temperatures - January 16, 2024  per the Kansas State Mesonet observational network

At least 5 to 10 degree air made it into the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles and into northern Oklahoma.  In Nebraska where a deep snowpack built up, readings were far colder!

The atmosphere is now transitioning back into a "warmer" one although snowpack across northern Kansas into Nebraska will hold the warming at bay.  The storms in December and so far in January behaved about as expected based on the outlook provided by Hutton Weather Futures, LLC.  Going forward there will likely be two impactful storms in February with minor occurrences on the table also for the central part of the country. March weather could get wild!

Subscribers to Hutton Weather Futures get weekly detailed outlook reports that highlight impactful periods going all the way through the growing season. Information is made available to help you make the best decision you can in planning for the upcoming growing and livestock season.  To subscribe for weekly reports or to learn more, go to

Saturday, November 18, 2023

There are a lot of conflicting signals!

The weather pattern has been flipping between a La Nina response like upper flow and then showing signs recently of a "typical" El Nino weather pattern with rain and snow into California and wetness across southern Texas.  Here is the precipitation accumulation for the past month ending the morning of November 18 (and notice the tremendous precipitation accumulation across the northwest U.S., atypical of an El Nino pattern...

If you look at indices of ENSO, then one could argue that a true El Nino (at least a strong one as we have been led to believe) is not in place, at least yet.  Sure the equatorial waters of the Pacific support an ongoing El Nino by looking at the Oceanic NiƱo Index (ONI) three month average where the warmest waters have been in the Nino 1+2 region.  But the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) do not support a true El Nino.  One issue has been the warmer than average waters across the mid and high latitudes of the Pacific.  The atmosphere has responded at times with storms slamming into the Pacific Northwest and across the northern Rockies and northern Plains.  Recently California has joined in the action (more of an equatorial Pacific contribution).  Where does that leave us in the plains for the rest of the fall and through the winter?  Will the plains benefit from a transition to a more typical El Nino pattern, or will it be back to the drought for those that got the good rains this summer?  

For subscribers to Hutton Weather Futures weekly weather outlook reports, those questions will be answered.  Although there have been discouraging signs with this weather pattern, I'm seeing some promise buried in the data!  But a lot will have to come together before I know for certain that improvement will be made in terms of soil moisture across a large chunk of the region.  

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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Changing of the guard - the pattern is changing

For much of 2023 growing season, rainfall was extreme across parts of the high plains with late spring and summer rains. In terms of percent of normal, some locations saw 2 to 3 times what is "normal".   At the same time the eastern part of the plains had limited (seasonal averages) rainfall with increasing drought conditions.   Now that the jetstream across the northern hemisphere is increasing in strength, the weather pattern is in the process of "reforming" into what is hopefully a favorable one for crop producers.  A clear picture won't be known for several months but clues will start to emerge soon.  

Even though rainfall this past few weeks has been minimal for much of the high plains, late August and early September storms brought some decent moisture (except for some up in northwest Kansas).  A map of rainfall this past 30 days ending 9/24 illustrates the beneficial amounts for many locations....

The recent (9/21-23) storms across mainly Nebraska, far eastern Kansas and eastern Oklahoma (and points east) is part of the earlier weather pattern (shifted climatologically east) and perhaps a glimpse into what is starting to develop.  I want to start seeing weather systems deepen into the central and southern Rockies to be encouraged.  Some of the long-range computer forecast models have been hinting at decent moisture for October. I'm not "sold" just yet.  

For the subscribers to my weekly weather outlook reports at Hutton Weather Futures, I will be carefully analyzing the new developing weather pattern and will be looking for "clues" of what may impact the Great Plains later this fall, winter and going through the next growing season. Take advantage of the September special pricing for these outlook reports.  You will get these weekly reports for October and November (2 months for the normal price of 1 month).  You can subscribe using this link  or go to

Thursday, August 10, 2023

September is the transition month - what can we expect going into fall?

For many in the Great Plains, July was near normal to above normal, and in some cases, exceedingly wet.  Yet, there was quite a large area (comparatively speaking) that did not benefit from the continued active weather pattern.  Here is a look at the rainfall percent of normal for July....

This was a shift in the pattern from what had been a wet northeast Colorado, northwest Kansas and western Nebraska.  However, so far in August this wet area has shifted back north.  Now the question is will that continue as we transition into fall? 

One good thing about the wetness across what had been the hardest hit area of the drought is that temperatures were highly mitigated due to the wet ground and lush vegetation, 

The upper air map is illustrating an unusual southern shift in a relatively strong jet stream (compared to normal for August).  Here is the map from this Thursday morning...

The shift can be tied to many things going on across the northern Hemisphere (namely areas of forcing and those teleconnections).  This might be a clue going into the fall months and into winter/spring in what we can expect as the new weather pattern (2023/2024) begins to organize.   This is and will be discussed at length in outlook reports that are sent to clients of Hutton Weather Futures.  Consider joining those already subscribed that are informed to make business decisions from accurate long-range forecasts!  Visit my website Hutton Weather Futures for additional information on how to subscribe.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Wet July?

This crazy weather that went from a significant drought to significant wetness (for many) looks to continue off and on this summer.  The upper-level flow this past 60 days has been unusual at times.  For a while back in May winds aloft were anomalously week for the time of year and actually contributed to westward moving convection and can be attributed to some of the monstrous rainfall totals this past 45 days.  There are rainfall observations of 15 to 20 inches since May 1 and I can find quite a few of those reports in the Texas Panhandle, east central Colorado, western Kansas, and southwest Nebraska.  Of course, as is typical with convection, adjacent locations missed out on some of those bigger rains.  There are locations that have had 5 to 6 times normal rainfall!  Look at the map of percent of normal rainfall in the 60-day period ending 06/25!!

Of course, we should not expect these types of anomalies for the remainder of the summer.  It's not a zero percent chance of that happening, but the atmosphere will likely not allow it.  The upper air map from this morning shows a continued active pattern despite being late June. 

The winds aloft are certainly weaker than they would be earlier in the year, but still strong enough to support occasional complexes of storms, similar to what moved across Nebraska and northern Kansas overnight (6/28).  As long as the upper high across southwest Canada continues to dominate at that location, and the upper air high (currently over Arkansas and Louisiana) doesn't expand into the central part of the country and park there, then I believe there will be continued opportunities for more rain in July.  I don't see much chance of a repeat of July 2022 when the spigot was shut off.

In the reports I send out through a subscription to Hutton Weather Futures, I have detailed and highlighted those periods/days of increased odds of rainfall for July and August.  Conversely, decreased odds of any rainfall have been noted.  Ideas of when the first fall freeze are shaping up and I've come up with odds on that.  Won't you consider joining the growing number of folks that have been reaping the benefits of accurate long-range forecasting!   Visit my website for additional details on how to sign up.