Early Summer Update
As we leave June and head into July, our long range forecast for summer appears to be on track. The month of June has been a cool one for many. This is especially true across the Northern Rockies and the Northern Plains where temperatures have been far below normal across Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Great Lakes and portions of Nebraska and Minnesota. Also, Florida has been cooler than normal as well as portions of Texas.
Elsewhere temperatures have trended close to normal or near normal with the exception of the far west and Desert Southwest.
The promised rains in the nation’s midsection have developed over the last several weeks. As you can see in the graphic below, there has been a big turnaround in rainfall across the central portions of the U.S.
However, as you can see in the graphic below the recent rains have not erased the drought but have certainly helped to reduce it severity. Still more rain is needed across California, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and the Desert Southwest.
Most of the Corn Belt and the Midwest continues to have the right combination of precipitation and near normal temperatures as we head into July.
In regards to the anticipated El Nino, we can see in the sea surface temperature chart below that an El Nino continues to develop. Warmer water temperatures (red, orange) are expanding westward from South America west towards the western Pacific. The intensity of the El Nino remains in question, however, odds are in the favor of a weak to moderately strong El Nino event later this year. This continues to be a good sign for cattle producers in California and the Southwest where rain chances later this summer and fall should increase.