WORLAND – Weather professionals from several state and government agencies presented a variety of information to attendees of WESTI Ag Days in Worland on Tuesday, including drought forecasts and snowpack levels for this year, to date.
Hosted by Windy Kelley with the Northern Plains Climate Hub (NPCH), the meteorologists and weather scientists spent an hour and a half explaining the resources available to Wyoming ag professionals.
Kelley began by explain the 10 hubs that make up the national climate hub, formed by the Department of Agriculture to provide climate change information to agriculture producers and the forestry industry.
The NPCH partners with NASA, the Department of Energy and National Weather Service to provide satellite tracking of weather trends across the country, in 10 regions, to monitor risks to individual crops and issue reports online for reference and growing schedules (climatehubs.oce.usda.gov).
Chad McNutt, with the National Integrated Drought Information System, described the agency’s ability to predict drought information based on season weather information, ground reporting, and soil moisture readings across the country. For 2017, McNutt said the hardest hit areas will be Oklahoma and Arkansas, with the usual late-summer rain loss in Wyoming.
Rosemary Hatch with the Wyoming State Climate Office outlined the state’s resources for farmers and ranchers, including providing drought and reservoir data, snowpack reports, snow water levels, and forecasts for runoff and drainage. These reports are available to the public wrds.uwyo.edu/sco/climate_office.
Tim Troutman with the National Weather Service, Riverton, reported that 2016 was the third warmest year for Wyoming since 1895, and the fourth wettest in Wyoming history.
Addressing flooding issues and moisture levels, Troutman noted that last year the snow water content was at 70 percent, and this year it is registering at 114 percent, which should result in more flooding and runoff in the next few weeks, as temperatures are expected to reach the low 50s.
Troutman finished by reminding agriculture producers to check with the Nation Weather Service before any major burning this spring.