Warm and dry conditions edge toward hot and dry

KIMBALL – June was mostly warm, sunny and summery, with temperatures running very close to the long-term average.
June was also quite dry across much of the Tri-state region. At Kimball, only about half an inch of rain fell throughout the month, representing a significant shortfall compared to average June precipitation of more than 2.75 inches.
An abundance of spring precipitation made for good soil moisture levels across much of the region, which produced a nice spring green-up and generally productive grasslands. Winter wheat also seemed to do quite well on the abundant spring moisture.
As July arrived, in the wake of a warm and dry June, soil moisture was becoming tight. Grasslands were beginning to lose a bit of green and warm season grass production was slowing. Spring-planted dryland crops were flagging a bit and late-planted dryland corn was looking particularly stressed south of Kimball.

Regional Forecast and Conditions

As of Tuesday morning, July 4, conditions at Kimball were sunny, clear and warming towards a forecast high above 90 degrees. Daytime temperatures were expected to remain sunny and warm through Friday, with the trend anticipated to continue through the weekend and into the middle of next week.
Daytime highs today (Friday) through Wednesday are forecast to range in the upper-80’s to mid-90’s, with overnight lows falling into the 50’s. Skies are expected to be generally sunny with the usual springtime chance of scattered, localized thunderstorms.
Air temperatures warmed across the region last week. At Kimball the June 27-July 3 daytime high averaged 85.71 degrees, about 5 degrees warmer than the previous week. The weekly high temperature was 92 degrees on July 2. Overnight lows averaged 52.28 degrees, about 0.5 degrees cooler than the previous week. The weekly low temperature was 47 degrees on July 1. The weekly mean temperature was 69.0 degrees, about 3.5 degrees warmer than the previous week, about 4 degrees warmer than the June average of 65.2 degrees and nearly 3 degrees cooler than the July average of 71.8. The long term average high and low temperatures at Kimball for June are 80.3 and 50.1; for July 87.4 and 56.1 degrees, respectively.
All 13 Panhandle stations reported precipitation over the June 27-July 3 period, ranging from a 0.1 at Harrisburg to 0.70 inches at Alliance. Panhandle precipitation averaged 0.26 inches, compared to 0.06 inches last week.
Panhandle soil temperatures were not available at press time. Last week’s temperatures: (this week/last week/change): Alliance 73.1/69.9 (+3.2) degrees; Gordon 73.5/72.0 (+1.5) degrees; Mitchell 80.3/72.3 (+8.0) degrees; Scottsbluff 75.1/69.4 (+5.7); and Sidney 75.6/74.3 (+1.3) degrees.
Winds near Kimball averaged west-southwesterly and mostly light over the June 27-July 3 period. Gusts for the week averaged 30.0 mph. High gust for the week was 41 mph on July 3.

July 7 Weather Almanac

Here’s an overview of July 7 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.
July 7, 2016: Daily high temperature 93 degrees, overnight low 51 degrees, average temperature 72.0 degrees. Precipitation 0.0 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth zero inches.
The warmest July 7 on record was 102 degrees in 1930. The coolest July 7 high temperature was 66 degrees in 1952. The coldest July 7 overnight low was 41 degrees in 1922. The warmest July 7 overnight low was 67 degrees in 1901. Over the years since 1893 the high temperature on July 7 has averaged 85 degrees, the overnight low 56 degrees, the daily average 70.5 degrees, precipitation has averaged 0.08 inches, snowfall zero inches, snow depth
zero inches.
The highest July 7 precipitation total was 1.39 inches in 2006.
Snow has fallen on July 7 at Kimball zero times over the last 123 years.

May weather almanac

Average 7 a.m. conditions: temperature 46.32 degrees, winds southerly at 4.96 mph, barometer 30.00.
Average daily high temperature 66.83 degrees (123 year average 69.3). Average daily low temperature 41.32 degrees (123YA 40.7). Daily average temperature 54.08 degrees (123YA 55.0). Total liquid precipitation 4.6 inches (123YA 2.78). Year to date (YTD) precipitation 8.45 inches (123YA 6.47). Total snowfall 3.0 inches (123YA 1.1 inches). YTD snow 19.81 inches (123YA 26.4).
Departures: Daily High, -2.47 degrees; Daily Low, +0.62 degrees; Daily Average, -0.92 degrees; Total Liquid Precipitation, +1.82 inches; YTD precipitation +1.98 inches. Total Snow, +1.9 inches. YTD snow -6.59 inches.

June weather almanac

Average 7 a.m. conditions: temperature 57.6 degrees, winds south-southeasterly at 4.46 mph, barometer 30.06.
Average daily high temperature 81.2 degrees (123 year average 80.3). Average daily low temperature 52.2 degrees (123YA 50.1). Daily average temperature 66.7 degrees (123YA 65.2). Total liquid precipitation 0.50 inches (123YA 2.67). Year to date (YTD) precipitation 8.91 inches (123YA 9.16). Total snowfall 0.0 inches (123YA trace). YTD snow 19.81 inches (123YA 26.4).
Departures: Daily High, +0.90 degrees; Daily Low, +2.1 degrees; Daily Average, +1.5 degrees; Total Liquid Precipitation, -2.17 inches; YTD precipitation -0.25 inches. Total Snow, -trace. YTD snow -8.49 inches.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The High Plains: Tainfall was scarce over most of the region during the week ending June 27. Combined with a heat wave early in the period, with temperatures reaching into the 100’s in some areas, conditions worsened in many places.
North Platte, Neb., for example, tied a record on June 21, reaching 107 degrees. Abnormally dry conditions now encompass most of the state, save for the far west and parts of the far east.
These conditions also extended southward into Kansas, which also saw abnormal dryness extended in the far southwest.
The most deterioration, however, occurred in the Dakotas, especially northwestern South Dakota and North Dakota, where the rapidly worsening conditions warranted expansion of moderate, severe, and extreme drought to many regions. Extreme drought (D3) was expanded across a large section of western North Dakota and extended into Montana. A county agent from McIntosh County noted that soil moisture is absent and crop and pasture losses are expected. Additionally, some producers are now having to haul water, and hay is less than half of normal. Pastures have zero re-growth.
The one bright spot for the week in this region was southeastern Kidder and southwestern Sherman Counties: moderate drought (D1) improved to abnormally dry (D0) conditions. According to the USDA/NASS reports, the percent of topsoil moisture that was short to very short for the week ending June 25 was 53 percent in North Dakota, 63 percent in South Dakota, and 56 percent in Nebraska, increases of 10, 8 and 20 percent, respectively, compared to the June 18 report.

National Summary: All substantial precipitation over the past week fell over the eastern half and southern portion of the United States. Tropical Storm Cindy played a large role. The storm made landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border on June 22, bringing heavy rains and subsequent flooding to parts of the South and the Ohio Valley. Dry areas in the path of Cindy saw immediate improvements, as reflected on this week’s drought map.
Heat and lack of rain dominated from the West to the central and south central U.S, with temperatures rising into the 90’s, 100’s, and even into the 120’s in some areas, with many temperature records broken. This led to some quickly deteriorating conditions across the heart of the country. Although temperatures were well below normal in the Northern Plains June 23-27, this did not help conditions; unfortunately there was little to no accompanying rain.
For more information on the U.S. Drought Monitor visit: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

U.S. Conditions and Weather Report

Reports were not available as of press time.

USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Reports

Reports for Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming were not available as of press time.

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