Spring showers hopefully will arrive soon

Regina Bird

Spring has sprung, but many times we have to wait for winter to fully let go.

As we saw many times in March, it was a mixture of mild stretches and cold air. Some to the extreme with record setting heat on March 12 for Harlingen, Corpus Christi and Galveston, Texas, with temperatures of 100, 99 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Later in the week, Garden City, Kansas, recorded a record low for March 17 of 15 degrees.

Bouts of severe weather impacted parts of the southern Plains in March. While this did bring some good rainfall to some areas that needed it, it also left some dealing with damage.

Some areas that really need moisture in Kansas are seeing the effects with winter wheat showing strain. The U.S. Department of Agriculture listed half of winter wheat in Kansas as very poor or poor conditions as of March 19.

Another indicator of just how dry it’s been was several instances of blowing dust in the central to southern Plains during March.

Looking ahead to April, temperatures are likely to average above normal for the southern Plains.

For precipitation, central to eastern Texas along with eastern Oklahoma are favored for above average precipitation.

The longer-term outlook brings the opposite for western Texas, western Oklahoma and southwest Kansas with below normal precipitation through June.

Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are all favored for above average temperatures the next three months.

Based on what’s anticipated in the coming months, we will likely see some areas making dents in ongoing drought conditions. This looks most favorable for the eastern halves of Oklahoma, Kansas and a lot of Nebraska.

Looking at the bigger picture, La Niña has officially ended. This is based on current specific atmospheric conditions and oceanic conditions. Now that La Niña has ended, that means ENSO-Neutral conditions are now in place. Those conditions will likely remain through the early part of summer.

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for May’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