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.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

May is all over the place!

This past month has seen varying amounts of rainfall (and snow in some areas) which is certainly typical for the Great Plains.  However, the same areas that have been hardest hit from the drought seem to be missing out on many of the opportunities, but yet there was one widespread rainfall event the last week of April that blessed a large part of southwest Kansas.  Look at precipitation this past month....

The colder than normal conditions and precipitation had been expected as I laid out months in advance. Based on the pattern that set up in the fall and timing the harmonics of the wavelength of the pattern, I have identified the most likely periods of opportunity for rainfall going into June.  Of course, it doesn't mean that it will rain everywhere on a given day or period, it is just the time of increased opportunity that the atmosphere may respond with more rainfall.  A sample graph for June is below.  For folks that have subscribed to my outlook reports I will advance this into July and August as well and include periods of when I expect the most heat to be.

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Thursday, April 6, 2023

Same pattern, same result

The active pattern continues but has produced about identical conditions across the Plains and into the midwest and Mississippi Valley.  The wind and dirt have been brutal, but expected.  The blizzards and heavy snow across the northern parts of the western Corn Belt have been significant.  The severe weather including tornadoes across the midwest and Mississippi Valley have been expected based on my reports I have been providing.  Here is the precipitation totals that have occurred this past 30 days ending today April 6....

Prospects for changes for April are not great.  There are subtle hints of better things to come but it could be a while yet.   In my reports to my customers of Hutton Weather Futures I have addressed these opportunities.  

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Friday, March 17, 2023

More wind - little precipitation - better days ahead

This past weather system that rolled through yesterday, March 16, packed a punch in terms of crashing temperatures and high wind.  At least a little precipitation was generated. 

Here is a map showing what fell during the 3 day period of March 14-16...

In the report I sent to the subscribers to my longrange outlooks, the next period that "could" bring some precipitation is coming up next week.  It likely won't be just one system, but a series of weaker storm systems.  After that there should be a couple more opportunities going into April.   In the report I sent out to those subscribers and in subsequent reports I'll be sending, more dates of opportunity have been identified.  Please consider joining this premium service that could help you in planning of your operation in the crop and livestock world. 

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