We are entering into the time of year where precipitation amounts on average will increase across most of the nation. April, May and June for many in key cattle states are critical months in regards to getting the rain/snow needed for a healthy hay crop and healthy range lands.
The severe drought conditions of 2011 and 2012 eased for many (but not all) in the spring of 2013 as weather patterns changed in the Pacific allowing better opportunities for spring precipitation. However, the deficits from drought conditions of 2011 and 2012 were hard to erase. As it stands now, conditions are better for some than a year ago at this time and prospects for better hay growing and rangeland conditions as we head into April and the following months.
Of course, this is not true for everyone as there are still some very dry conditions in the southern plains, California and portions of the southwest. Those areas are still in a critically dry situation that may carry forward into this summer. With that said, however, we are in a good position to see decent amounts of precipitation in April and likely into May for many areas of the lower 48 states. This will be especially true in the Great Lakes, Midwest, Corn Belt, Northern Plains, Northern Rockies and portions of the Pacific Northwest. In those areas the cold, snowy winter will likely transition into and cool and likely wet spring.
As we head into the first week of April, this is likely going to be the case as a series of storms will traverse the nation. As you can see in the forecast of accumulated precipitation for the next two weeks below, many areas will see near to above normal chances for rain/snow. Even California has some chances for badly needed precipitation.
There is even some hope for the southern plains of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas to get into the action.
The Pacific is likely going to produce several storms in the coming eight to twelve weeks will hopefully mean beneficial spring precipitation for many.