Rain and snow close out April

KIMBALL – Several moisture bearing weather fronts freight-trained across the tri-state region last week, bringing cool, breezy conditions along with rain and snow.
At Kimball, at least a little bit of precipitation fell each of the last seven days of the month, totaling slightly more than eight-tenths of an inch of liquid moisture and two inches of snow.
The snow fell on Friday, April 28. The day began with light rain, which turned to snow as temperatures fell.
The last week of April and first two days of May saw temperatures averaging only in the lower 40’s. The cool, cloudy conditions mixed with snow and rain also drove soil temperatures down across the region by an average of about 7.5 degrees.
Overnight lows around the 30 degree mark across the region may have resulted in some freeze damage to winter wheat in a few locations. Thus far, however, it looks like widespread freeze damage was avoided.
Regional Forecast and Conditions
As of Tuesday morning (May 2) conditions remained cool as a slow moving weather front continued to churn through the region. The Friday-Wednesday forecast calls for much warmer and drier conditions to come. Daytime highs are expected to reach into the mid-70’s to lower 80’s with overnight lows falling only into the mid-40’s. Chance of precipitation across the region through May 10 is low, although there is a chance of scattered, localized thunderstorms.
Air temperatures cooled again across the region last week. At Kimball the April 25-May 1 daytime high averaged 50.42 degrees, about 12 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 57 degrees on April 25 and May 1. Overnight lows averaged 31.85 degrees, about 4.5 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 30 degrees on April 25 and 26. The weekly mean temperature was 41.14 degrees, about 14 degrees cooler than the previous week, 4 degrees cooler than the April average of 45.2 degrees. The long term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for April are 59.6 and 30.9 degrees, respectively, and for May are 69.3 and 40.7 degrees, respectively.
All 13 Panhandle stations reported precipitation over the April 25-May 1 period, ranging from 1.43 inches at Big Springs to 0.48 inches at Gordon. Panhandle precipitation averaged 0.83 inches for the week.
Soil temperatures cooled sharply last week, ranging from 7.7 to 9.7 degrees cooler than the previous week across the Panhandle for the April 25-May 1 period. April 25 soil temperatures (this week/last week/change): Alliance 46.7/54.8 (-8.1) degrees; Gordon 46.5/54.8 (-8.3) degrees; Mitchell 48.6/56.4 (-7.8) degrees; Scottsbluff 48.7/56.4 (-7.7); and Sidney 47.1/56.8 (-9.7) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged south-southwesterly and generally breezy over the April 25-May 1 period. Gusts for the week averaged 31.57 mph. High gust for the week was 43 mph on April 25.

May 5 Weather Almanac
An overview of May 5 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 (May 5, 2016): Daily high temperature 73 degrees, overnight low 38 degrees, average temperature 55.5 degrees. Precipitation 0.00 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest May 5 on record was 91 degrees in 2000. The coolest May 5 high temperature was 39 degrees in 1967. The coldest May 5 overnight low was 23 degrees in 1944. The warmest May 5 overnight low was 54 degrees in 1895. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on May 5 has averaged 64 degrees, the overnight low 37 degrees, the daily average 50.7 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.07 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The highest May 5 precipitation recorded over the last 123 years was 1.8 inches in 1969.
Snow has fallen on May 5 at Kimball 9 times over the last 123 years. The greatest May 5 snowfall was 3.0 inches in 1950. Measurable May 5 snow depth was reported in 2 of the last 123 years. The greatest May 5 snow depth was a trace in 1982.

April weather almanac
Average 7 a.m. conditions: temperature 37.97 degrees, winds south-southwesterly at 5.43 mph, barometer 29.95.
Average daily high temperature 60.46 degrees (123 year average 59.6). Average daily low temperature 34.8 degrees (123YA 30.9). Daily average temperature 49.03 degrees (123YA 45.2). Total liquid precipitation 1.61 inches (123YA 1.84). Year to date (YTD) precipitation 3.85 inches (123YA 3.71). Total snowfall 2.01 inches (123YA 6.0). YTD snow 16.81 inches (123YA 25.3).
Departures: Daily High, +0.86 degrees; Daily Low, +3.9 degrees; Daily Average, +3.83 degrees; Total Liquid Precipitation, -0.23 inches; YTD precipitation +0.14 inches. Total Snow, -3.99 inches. YTD snow -8.49 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor
(April 27) The Plains: Precipitation Wet weather brought drought relief to the southern half of the region, while conditions remained unchanged on the northern High Plains’ long-term drought areas (denoted by an “L” on the map). Precipitation amounts were highly variable, but well-placed moderate to heavy rain and wet snow (1-3 inches liquid equivalent, locally more) led to reductions of Abnormal Dryness (D0) and Moderate Drought (D1) over southern-most portions of Wyoming, northern and northeastern Colorado, as well as the northwestern and southeastern corners of Kansas. Additional D1 and D0 reductions were made from eastern Colorado into southwestern Kansas despite lighter rainfall (half inch or less), as precipitation totals over the past 90 days were now mostly well above normal, with 30-day totals locally more than three times normal. Meanwhile, despite recent wet weather, long-term deficits linger in the north’s D1 and D0 areas; 12-month precipitation stood at 65 to 80 percent of normal in northeastern Wyoming and adjacent portions of the Dakotas, though some parts of southwestern South Dakota were closer to normal and may be removed from D0 in the near future.
National Summary: Widespread heavy rain eased drought but caused local flooding from Oklahoma to the Carolina Coast. In contrast, dry, hot conditions caused drought to intensify over the lower Southeast, though tropical downpours afforded some drought relief in southern Florida. Additional improvements to drought intensity and coverage were noted in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in response to late-spring rain as well as recovering groundwater levels. Conditions also improved on the central Plains, while drought remained largely unchanged elsewhere.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report
This report was not available at press time.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports
Week ending April 30

Much of the state received precipitation by week’s end, but fieldwork was limited due to weather conditions. Good moisture in the form of rain and snow was received in several counties, continuing to improve soil moisture and pasture conditions. In general, cooler temperatures slowed the rate of planting and emergence for many spring crops.
Reporters in eastern counties noted freeze damage to wheat is possible due to cold nighttime temperatures. Isolated heavy snow and severe weather in the Southeast district is a concern for the wheat crop and livestock producers who are evaluating possible livestock losses.
Reporters in the San Luis Valley noted potato planting has begun around weather events; variable wet, cold and windy weather with some isolated hail was reported.
As of May 1st, snowpack in Colorado was at 102 percent measured as percent of median snowfall. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 114 and 103 percent, respectively.
Stored feed supplies were rated 4 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus.
Sheep death loss was 45 percent average and 55 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 77 percent average, and 22 percent light.

Temperatures averaged eight to ten degrees below normal.
Significant rainfall of an inch or more was recorded across a majority of counties. Moderate snow, averaging two to four inches, was recorded in south-central and northeastern counties at the end of the week.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 10 short, 71 adequate, and 16 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 5 percent very short, 15 short, 75 adequate, and 5 surplus.
There were 3.3 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn planted was 34 percent, ahead of 25 last year, and near 30 for the five-year average. Emerged was 3 percent, near 6 last year and 4 average.
Soybeans planted was 8 percent, ahead of 2 last year, and near
5 average.
Winter wheat condition rated 2 percent very poor, 12 poor, 36 fair, 46 good, and 4 excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 55 percent, behind 69 last year, but ahead of 39 average.
Oats planted was 90 percent, near 86 last year and 89 average. Emerged was 56 percent, behind 68 last year and 62 average.
Cattle and calf conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 9 fair, 76 good, and 14 excellent. Calving progress was 92 percent complete. Cattle and calf death loss rated 0 percent heavy, 63 average, and 37 light.
Sheep and lamb conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 2 poor, 20 fair, 69 good, and 9 excellent. Sheep and lamb death loss rated 1 percent heavy, 70 average, and 29 light.
Hay and roughage supplies rated 1 percent very short, 4 short, 91 adequate, and 4 surplus.
Stock water supplies rated 0 percent very short, 3 short, 96 adequate, and 1 surplus.

Wyoming experienced cooler than normal temperatures for the week. All 34 stations reported below average temperatures for the week with the high temperature of 76 degrees recorded at Torrington and a low of 8 degrees at Laramie.
All 34 stations reported some precipitation as 30 of the 34 stations had more than average precipitation. Big Horn had the most precipitation with 4.14 inches and Greybull had the least with 0.14 inches.
A reporter in North Central Wyoming indicated more rain slowed planting for another week. Another reporter from North Central Wyoming reported three days of blizzard conditions with a foot of snow and plenty of moisture. They also indicated calving and lambing are almost done, but it is too early to determine losses from the storm.
A reporter from Northeast Wyoming indicated that the moisture they received from the past week was very beneficial.
A reporter from Eastern Wyoming indicted that it was quite cold last week and the area is suffering a hay shortage. Many ranchers have concerns about the lack of water.
One reporter from Southwest Wyoming commented that the weather has been cool and wet.
A reporter from Western Wyoming noted that it has been too cold and wet to do any field work and many producers are concerned about flooding.
A reporter from South Central Wyoming stated that the recent moisture has given producers hope for good pastures. They also indicated that calving and lambing have gone well due to the warm dry conditions.
A reporter from Southeast Wyoming reported the wet week resulted in improved rangeland conditions. Another reporter from Southeast Wyoming noted that the recent moisture has revived some of the crops and pasture, but cold temperatures may also affect the crops.
Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 8 percent very short, 8 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus.

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