A Wet Start to May For Many
For many in the Rockies, the Central and Southern Plains and across Nebraska and the Dakotas the winter was a mild and dry one. The mild and dry trend continued into March and the beginning of April. However, since then, rainfall (and some mountain snow has returned) and odds are increasing more precipitation is coming.
A classic May weather pattern developing in the west and central areas of the U.S. will bring significant rains for many and deficits could be erased in many areas of the plains and central and southern Rockies.
A large area of low pressure will dominate the weather pattern in the central and west this week and through Mother’s Day weekend. The slow moving Pacific storm will bring cool and wet weather to all of the Rockies and Plains, with the heaviest precipitation falling in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, eastern New Mexico, Texas as well as Iowa, Minnesota and other areas of the western Corn Belt. The slow moving storm will be able to tap into Gulf of Mexico moisture and bring it far north and west into the plains and Rockies.
The above mentioned areas may receive between 1.5 to over 5 inches of precipitation in the next week to ten days. While not as heavy, needed rains will also fall across Montana, North Dakota, Idaho, Utah and Nevada with even a little rain coming to California. The map below shows the predicted precipitation totals through this coming Sunday.
The precipitation will also not be exclusively rain, many of the higher elevations and perhaps even some of the lower elevations of Wyoming, Colorado and far western Nebraska may see some May snow. At exactly the same time last year, a large spring storm brought heavy snows and rains to the same areas. It is possible some areas of the Rockies could experience snow on Mother’s Day for the second year in a row.
The mountains of Utah, Montana, Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada should all have snow over the highest elevations as well.
While the precipitation is needed and will be welcomed, stock growers need to be prepared for possible stressful livestock conditions in the cold, wet conditions that will develop this week and into the weekend, especially in Wyoming, Colorado and far western Nebraska.