West, High Plains regions all in need of moisture

Regina Bird

Wildfires raged on in Colorado during October before a round of heavy snow brought relief to those areas.

Speaking of snow, winter showed up from Nebraska into the Texas Panhandle toward the end of the month with snow or ice coating the landscape.

Although some preferred the snow had come in the form of rain, this moisture was a welcome sight for some as drought conditions had worsened in the past month. Along with dry conditions, warm temperatures and wind only added to the stress on soil moisture. Drought conditions generally trended downward from the northern Plains into the western half of Oklahoma and Texas during the last 30 days.

The drought isn’t only being felt in the central Plains. Toward the end of the month over half of the United States was included in some sort of drought category on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The outlook for those suffering from drought conditions is not an optimistic one in the central Plains. From Nebraska to all of Texas, drought is expected to persist or develop, if it hasn’t yet, through the early part of the winter season.

For the month of November, temperatures should average above seasonal from Texas to Nebraska. That same area is also forecast to see below normal precipitation for the next month.

The stretch of above average temperatures is forecast to continue through January from Texas to Nebraska. Moisture will also continue to be lacking in the long term for the area of Texas into Kansas.

Our worldwide view shows La Niña ongoing. There’s a good chance that La Niña will remain through the winter with a weakening trend into the spring. Forecast models are also hinting a possible strong La Niña late in the fall into the early part of winter.

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for next month’s update.

Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.