Will it be a White Christmas?
The past week has brought winter weather conditions to many areas of U.S. and some beef producers in the Deep South experienced some rare ice and snow.
The map below shows areas of snow cover across the U.S. as of Monday, Dec. 11. Note the swath of snow cover stretching from Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and into the southern Appalachians. Snow was heavy in portions of Georgia where up to a foot of snow fell in the higher elevations just northwest of Atlanta. There are portions of the Deep South with snow on the ground and no snow on the ground in Denver, Colorado!
In addition to the Deep South, heavy lake effect snows were heavy this past weekend in the Great Lakes.
Looking forward into the next two weeks it appears that the odds are high the snow cover map by Christmas time will show a much more extensive area of snow cover across the lower 48 states. After a modest warming trend this weekend and early next week, the jet across the northern hemisphere will go through a readjustment phase. The readjustment will result in several waves of much colder air into the United States. Particularly, Dec. 16 through the first week of January, could be very cold in many areas of the U.S. Beef producers need to be prepared for an extended period of cold and snow during the second half of December and into the New Year.
Some very cold temperatures, snow and cold wind chills may stress livestock from the Rockies to the Northern Plains and into the Midwest and Great Lakes.
If the anticipated changes take place in the coming weeks, a white Christmas is looking like a good possibility in many areas of the country that have no snow now!