West Coast Rains Have Arrived-More on the Way
This past weekend brought the return of welcomed rains and mountain snows to the West Coast, Pacific Northwest and the Sierra Nevada. Rainfall amounts of three to six inches were common in central and northern areas of California. The map below highlights precipitation in the far west since late last week.
The snowpack received a nice boost over the weekend as well. The snowpack rose to 113% of normal in the Northern Sierra, 107% in the San Joaquin and 103% in the Tulare Basin. The above mentioned snow packs are below the Super El Nino of 1998, however, all indications suggest that California will have several more episodes of lower elevation rains and mountain snows through the rest of March and into April.
Over the past six months the biggest improvements in precipitation have occurred in the Pacific Northwest and portions of Northern California as you can see in the graphic below.
On the other hand, drier conditions have developed in the Central and Northern Rockies since September 2015. El Nino enhanced storms will likely be a good possibility in the far west and Rockies as well as the Desert Southwest in the coming weeks.
Beef producers in the far west should be prepared for colder and more active weather in the coming weeks.
Another area of concern for stock growers will be in the southcentral areas of the U.S. Over the next two weeks, very heavy rainfall will be possible.
The graphic below shows total rainfall potential of over 10 inches portions of east Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana (light brown). Beef producers in the southern plains and lower Mississippi Valley should be ready for heavy rains.