Cold for Rest of February
For stock growers across the Northern Plains and Northern Rockies, it has already been a very long month of the cold and occasional snow. While the worst of the Polar Vortex at the end of January was more focused in the Midwest, the most recent round of winter cold has been centered more in the western states - especially Washington, Oregon, Montana, parts of Wyoming and the Dakotas.
The graphic below shows temperatures relative to normal since the beginning of February. The areas of purple, blue and green show the coldest areas since the beginning of February. The cold and occasional snow has been stressful to livestock in those areas while the Midwest and East has enjoyed a break in the cold.
Unfortunately, the cold is going to persist in the same areas for the remainder of February and likely into early March as well as expand east. Below is the long range temperature forecast for the remainder of February and into early March.
Through at least the first week of March, most of the nation will be colder than normal. There will also be a good chance for more snow events. Beef producers need to continue to be prepared for harsh winter conditions for the next several weeks.