Early snows follow wheat planting 

(Journal photo by Jennifer Theurer.)

The first snows of the season fell for parts of the Plains as temperatures dived for our first taste of wintry weather. But ahead of that, some mild days prevailed with dry conditions, and progress was made when it comes to fall harvest and winter wheat planting. 

Seventy-seven percent of expected winter wheat in the United States was in the ground as of Oct. 22, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Even as we entered fall, record highs were falling in parts of Texas. Beaumont-Port Arthur and Borger both set record highs two days in a row Oct. 20 and 21 as temperatures soared into the low 90s. Chanute, Kansas, also set a new record high on Oct. 21 when the mercury climbed to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Regina Bird
Regina Bird

As we look into November, above average temperatures are forecast from the southern Plains into Kansas and southwest Nebraska. Western and central Texas are favored to see precipitation add up above seasonal norms for the month. 

All of Texas, Oklahoma and eastern and central Kansas are likely to see precipitation above normal for the next three months. For temperatures, Nebraska and eastern Kansas should see temperatures warmer than we would typically experience through January. 

The forecast precipitation is a welcome sight. If all goes as forecast, the moisture should be enough to help the drought situation for portions of the southern to central Plains. Texas into Kansas should see some sort of drought improvement in the coming months.  

Even into October, parts of the plains continued to see drought impacts ranging from pecan trees in Texas dying due to drought stress to ranchers reportedly continuing to sell more cattle due to lack of feed and water.  

In the global view, specific atmospheric and oceanic conditions continued to reflect El Niño. El Niño is forecast to continue into the winter months and now into the spring too.  

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 worked as a television meteorologist for nine years in Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX