Producers have had their share of Mother Nature’s storms

Regina Bird

As the calendar flips to July, some producers in the Corn Belt are eying their crops as they consider whether it has reached the age-old measurement of “knee high by the 4th of July.”

Unfortunately, some farmers won’t be doing so as some fields were left devastated by severe storms that occurred in June. As is typical, severe storms were the case for several days in the last month. While some dealt with the severe storms, there were others dealing with dry spells. The dry weather was enough for isolated areas to be pushed back into drought conditions.

Looking ahead to the next few months, drought conditions are expected to remain widespread in the northern Plains, but farther south we should see some areas with improvements to lingering drought. One area that should see some improvement is western Texas.

Long-term outlooks for precipitation don’t have any clear signals for above or below average precipitation for July in the southern and central Plains. Looking out further to the next three months is another story though. The eastern halves of Texas and Oklahoma look poised to receive above average precipitation through September. On the other hand, below average precipitation is currently expected through September for western Kansas and western Nebraska.

For temperatures in July, most of Nebraska should see those climb above seasonal norms for the month. Through September, that continues for Nebraska along with western Kansas, western Oklahoma and western Texas.

As covered last month, we are now in ENSO-neutral conditions in the larger scheme of current conditions. ENSO-neutral is forecast to remain through summer. The forecast remains more uncertain into fall, with the possibility for continued ENSO-neutral or a transition to La Niña. Hopefully soon the forecast will be clear enough to favor one or the other for fall.

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.