Big Changes Coming
The last several weeks have been dominated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and now Jose. In addition to the hurricanes a lot of the nation has been warmer than normal. This has been especially true in the Pacific Northwest and Rockies.
The heat and dryness in the northwest this summer has resulted in an awful fire season across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and especially Montana. The large wildfire activity has resulted in episodes of heavy smoke and haze across many areas of the west and Northern Plains. The constant heat and dryness in those areas since late August has resulted in a perfect scenario for the wildfire season to be extended into September.
However, there is a strong possibility that large scale weather pattern changes will bring relief from the heat and dryness in many areas.
It got started this past weekend with rain, mountain snow and much cooler temperatures across the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies. The high-pressure pattern that has been so persistent in the past few weeks has finally broken down.
With the high-pressure pattern much weaker now, the door is now open to the Gulf of Alaska which will allow a series of storm systems and cold fronts to move into the nation.
The graphic below shows expected temperature trends in the near term across the nation. The blue and green areas show where we expect a colder trend to develop. The far west, Pacific Northwest and the Rockies will be much cooler.
In addition to the cooler temperatures, it looks wet as well in the far west and Pacific Northwest. This will be more good news for helping with the wildfires.
While help with the wildfires is great news it also means beef producers in the Pacific Northwest, Rockies and Northern Plains should be prepared for a transition to colder, wet weather in the coming weeks.