After a crazy busy summer, I'm getting a little extra time where I can start posting on a more regular basis.
Starting where I kind of left off...on July 26 I posted (although it was also a brief summary) about the remainder of the summer and early thoughts on the fall. Here is what I concluded with:
Then for September I feel that it may turn off very dry with above normal temperatures. Good for the maturing corn, milo and cotton. For those planning on fall planting of winter wheat...take advantage of early soil moisture! The fall may end up drier than normal (at least first half?). BUT, the new pattern starts to form in October so confidence is not high beyond September.
For the most part I believe that was a pretty accurate outlook! Here is the percent of normal of precipitation for the month of September (through the 29th):
For the High Plains, there was one or two events this month that brought copious amounts of rainfall to a small percentage of the region, especially up by Hill City and Norton and out by Tribune, and northwest of Lubbock. But for the majority of the area it turned pretty dry this September with a stretch of hot and windy conditions. From the bit of travel I've been experiencing around Kansas this past week it appears that there was quite a bit of drilling of winter wheat (and lots of corn and milo cutting). Obviously at least some rain is needed in the short term to get the wheat really going strong tapping into the sub-soil moisture.
For the short term, the only significant chance for moisture will come during the first of next week. But, there is much uncertainty on the outcome. Looking at the latest satellite image:
The "L" over western Kentucky has been spinning around the midwest for the past week. Excessive rainfall has fallen on many parts of the corn belt. I saw a video this morning of a combine harvesting corn through a flooded field (looked like about 2 feet deep) in Iowa. Crazy! https://www.facebook.com/StormTeamWGAL/videos/1751786865085701/
Anyway, that storm brought a major change to the high plains as it moved into the midwest allowing much drier air to filter it. This essentially ended any chance for rains in the plains. But, there is a small amount of hope. Do you see the low pressure system (the L) off the Oregon coast (top left)? This is a major dip in the jetstream that is slowly moving east. Normally I would be excited. But there are other factors downstream that could adversely affect it's eventual movement and placement. The first is the hurricane south of Jamaica. The other is the crazy low over the midwest. These systems are kind of blocking the movement of other systems. The storm over Oregon may develop a little father south before turning east. This issue I see is that it could move out into the plains as it also lifts north. Usually this means that any precipitation will be north and east of the high plains. I really won't have much of an idea until Monday as it gets closer. In addition, the associated surface features might move east too fast (bad timing).
So, what I'm saying is don't count on moisture with this storm. Rather, pray that it does rain (as there is at least a chance).
Here is the latest outlook from the Weather Prediction Center:
BTW, the large amounts of rain across Montana and North Dakota and into Canada is quite anomalous for late September!
Back to the previous July post. I also said it might be on the dry side going into at least the first half of the fall season. The "new" weather pattern that is in the process of developing won't provide much predictability until at least late October at the earliest. After early next week, I don't see much hope for precipitation until at least October 11/12. The 3i show in Dodge City is coming up on the 13th, 14th, and 15th. You want to bet it rains at least once during the show? It didn't last year. But this year? Hmmm.
By mid-October I might start be seeing some "signs" of the new weather pattern change. Hopefully I can provide some insight by then.
As far as a killing or hard freeze, there is NOTHING indicating that is in the offing anytime soon. Yes, there could be some scattered frost or very light freezing conditions towards the middle part of next week, but nothing really that cold. I have a hunch that a season ending freeze for much of the high plains may be more towards the typical climatological date (mid/late October at the earliest) or even a bit later.
I won't give an outlook for the late fall/winter/spring until the pattern gets established and starts cycling. If I was to GUESS based on some oceanic indices, I would go with perhaps normal precipitation for the winter and normal to slightly above on temperatures. Really, nothing more than a wild guess. I'll know more in about a month.
Some have asked about the impending La Nina. Well, that might not even happen! Again, more on that as we get a little deeper in the fall.
BTW, here is the latest U.S. drought monitor:
I'll try and update again next week.