KIMBALL, Neb. – A few producers were seeding winter wheat near Kimball early in the week. In general seedbeds were quite dry although scattered very light rainfall on Aug. 31 may have provided adequate moisture for germination. Nevertheless, the recent hot and dry conditions have caused significant drying in the top 12-18 inches of soil and newly planted wheat will soon require precipitation to get an adequate start.
Dryland and irrigated summer crops were maturing nicely and it appears that many producers will see better than expected yields if an early hard freeze can be avoided.
Well managed pastures and rangeland continue to show abundant green from warm season grasses. Late-summer regrowth of cool season grasses is quite slow this year, as is germination of winter annual grasses. Timely rainfall would certainly boost this process.
Much of the south Panhandle was cloaked in wildfire smoke haze over the weekend and early in the week but the smoke was beginning to clear on Tuesday.
Regional Forecast and Conditions
As of Tuesday morning (Sept. 5), the temperature at sunrise was 51 degrees under partly cloudy and smoke-hazed skies. The day was expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 72 degrees and little chance of rain.
The forecast through the weekend and into the middle of next week calls for continued seasonably warm and dry conditions. Daytime temperatures were expected to range in the mid-80’s. Overnight lows are forecast to fall into the mid-50’s. Little if any widespread precipitation is in the forecast. A chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms remains in effect across the region.
Air temperatures warmed across the region last week. At Kimball the Aug. 29 – Sept. 4 daytime high averaged 88.71 degrees, about 1 degree warmer than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 97 degrees on Sept. 3. Overnight lows averaged 54.28 degrees, unchanged from the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 51 degrees on Sept. 2. The weekly mean temperature was 71.5 degrees, about 0.5 degrees warmer than the previous week, and 1.5 degrees warmer than the August average of 70.0 degrees. The long term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for August are 85.9 and 54.2 degrees, respectively.
Seven of 13 Panhandle stations reported precipitation over the Aug. 29 – Sept. 4 period. Rainfall totals ranged from 0.06 inches at Chadron Municipal to 0.01 inches at Agate, Alliance, Harrisburg and Harrison. Five stations reported zero precipitation. Panhandle precipitation averaged 0.015 inches compared to 0.09 inches last week.
Panhandle soil temperatures warmed slightly over the Aug. 29 – Sept. 4 period: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 71.4/72.8 (-1.4) degrees; Gordon 73.8/76.0 (-2.2) degrees; Mitchell 75.3/76.1 (-0.8) degrees; Scottsbluff 74.2/75.5 (-1.3); and Sidney 72.8/73.2 (-0.4) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged west-southwesterly and mostly light over the Aug. 29 – Sept. 4 period. Gusts for the week averaged 24.14 mph. High gust for the week was 41 mph on Aug. 31.
Sept. 8 Weather Almanac
Here’s an overview of Sept. 8 temperature and precipitation highs, lows, and averages over the preceding 123 years at Kimball. Data is taken from the High Plains Regional Climate Center (www.hprcc.unl.edu), where you can easily find and track data for your own particular location.
Last year (Sept. 8, 2016): Daily high temperature 80 degrees, overnight low 46 degrees, average temperature 63.0 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest Sept. 8 on record was 97 degrees in 1959. The coolest Sept. 8 high temperature was 42 degrees in 1929. The coldest Sept. 8 overnight low was 30 degrees in 2010. The warmest Sept. 8 overnight low was 61 degrees in 1963. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on Sept. 8 has averaged 78 degrees, the overnight low 48 degrees, the daily average 62.7 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.05 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The highest Sept. 8 precipitation total was 0.66 inches in 1971.
August weather almanac
Average 7 a.m. conditions: temperature 57.16 degrees, winds south-southeasterly at 5.7 mph, barometer 30.16.
Average daily high temperature 83.09 degrees (123 year average 85.9). Average daily low temperature 54.16 degrees (123YA 54.2). Daily average temperature 68.63 degrees (123YA 70.0). Total liquid precipitation 2.01 inches (123YA 1.80). Year to date (YTD) precipitation 12.55 inches (123YA 13.51). Total snowfall 0.0 inches (123YA 0.00). YTD snow 19.81 inches (123YA 26.4).
Departures: Daily High, -2.81 degrees; Daily Low, -0.04 degrees; Daily Average, -1.37 degrees; Total Liquid Precipitation, +0.21 inches; YTD precipitation -0.96 inches. Total Snow, 0.00. YTD snow -6.59 inches.
U.S. Drought Monitor
(Aug. 29) The High Plains: Precipitation during this USDM week (Aug. 23 – 29, 2017) was above normal for some of the country’s midsection, the Northern Plains to Upper Midwest, southwestern Florida, parts of New Mexico and much of Texas and Louisiana.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall north of Corpus Christi as a Category 4 storm, bringing with it rainfall amounts there were unprecedented. In Houston, the nation’s fourth-most populous city, rainfall totals approached 50 inches in five days, resulting in historical flooding.
Drier than normal conditions existed for much of the Southeast, mid-Atlantic to Northeast, and western Northern Plains to Northwest.
Temperatures were above normal for much of the western third of the nation and parts of the Southeast. Temperatures elsewhere were below normal. Parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan experienced their first freeze of the season, 3-6 weeks earlier than normal.
National Summary: Precipitation was below normal for much of the High Plains this week prompting the expansion of D0 in southwest South Dakota and western Wyoming.
Drought was expanded throughout Montana where long-term precipitation deficits remain. According to the USDA crop reports, 41 percent of Montana pasture and range conditions are rated very poor and 73 percent of the topsoil moisture conditions are rated very short.
D0 was expanded and a small area of D1 was introduced in northeast Kansas and southeast Nebraska based on the 30-day precipitation deficits.
Category improvements were made in eastern South Dakota, where 1-2 inches of rain has fallen during the last two weeks. It was reported that crop conditions are very good in this eastern region.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
U.S. Conditions and Weather Report
(Sept. 5) This report was unavailable at press time due to the federal holiday.
USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports
Dry, windy, and hot weather seen throughout the state this past week caused a decline in soil moisture supplies. Warmer weather last week helped further spring crop maturity, but dry spots are quickly appearing in the absence of moisture.
Reporters in northeastern counties noted that recent dry weather is a concern for non-irrigated crop and pasture conditions. Specifically, concerns regarding the impact of dry conditions on winter wheat planting and declining non-irrigated crop quality were mentioned.
In the San Luis Valley, fall potato harvest has begun, with barley harvest progressing well. Reporters in southeastern counties also noted that increased heat units benefited spring crops, but some remain behind due to previous cooler weather.
Statewide, harvest of small grains remained slightly behind average.
Stored feed supplies were rated 2 percent short, 90 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus.
Sheep death loss was 2 percent heavy, 54 percent average, and 44 percent light. Cattle death loss was 74 percent average and 26 percent light.
For the week ending Sept. 3, temperatures averaged two to six degrees above normal across western Nebraska, but two to six degrees below normal in the east.
Precipitation was scattered and limited with rainfall of less than half an inch received in some north-central and Panhandle counties. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 9 percent very short,
27 short, 63 adequate, and 1 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 10 percent very short, 30 short, 59 adequate, and 1 surplus.
There were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn condition rated 4 percent very poor, 9 poor, 24 fair, 45 good, and 18 excellent. Corn dough was 97 percent, equal to last year, and near 96 for the five-year average. Dented was 68 percent, behind 74 last year, and near 72 average. Mature was 10 percent, near 8 last year and 13 average.
Soybean condition rated 3 percent very poor, 7 poor, 26 fair, 51 good, and 13 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 8 percent, behind 15 last year, and near 11 average.
Winter wheat planted was 1 percent, near 4 last year and 3 average.
Sorghum condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 poor, 37 fair, 49 good, and 11 excellent. Sorghum coloring was 65 percent, well behind 87 last year, but ahead of 59 average. Mature was 6 percent, behind 11 last year, but near
Alfalfa condition rated 4 percent very poor, 9 poor, 32 fair, 42 good, and 13 excellent. Alfalfa third cutting was 96 percent complete, equal to last year, and near 94 average. Fourth cutting was 38 percent, near 40 last year, but ahead of 32 average.
Dry edible beans condition rated 6 percent very poor, 16 poor, 19 fair, 42 good, and 17 excellent. Dry edible beans setting pods was 98 percent, near 96 last year. Dropping leaves was 21 percent, well behind 46 last year and 45 average.
Pasture and range conditions rated 5 percent very poor, 20 poor, 44 fair, 27 good, and 4 excellent.
Stock water supplies rated 1 percent very short, 13 short, 86 adequate, and 0 surplus.
Wyoming experienced warmer than normal temperatures for the week. All of the 34 stations reported above average temperatures for the week with the high temperature of 97 degrees recorded at Greybull and Sheridan. The low temperature for the week of 36 degrees was recorded at Lake Yellowstone and Big Piney.
Twelve stations reported no precipitation. Lake Yellowstone had the most precipitation with 0.33 inches. All 34 stations received below normal precipitation.
A reporter from North Central Wyoming indicated that it has been hot, windy, and dry with several fires which have burned thousands of acres. Another reporter from North Central Wyoming indicated that it has been very dry.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming indicated that they are back to hot and dry conditions and cattle are being moved off summer pastures. They also indicated that haying is almost wrapped up for the season.
A reporter from Southeastern Wyoming reported that late summer conditions persist and they have not gotten rain in three weeks. Another reporter from Southeastern Wyoming indicated that they have had dry conditions for the week with one rain event which delayed some baling. Another reporter from Southeastern Wyoming noted that the wind has increased but they have received no rain.
Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 12 percent very short, 26 percent short, and 62 percent adequate.