Another year is in the books and 2020 is underway.
The first month of 2020 should bring above average precipitation for eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma. Southern Texas should also see temperatures averaging above normal for the next month. On the contrary, the northern Plains are favored for below average temperatures within the next month.
Further out through March, all of the South is expected to see temperatures above seasonal norms while the trend for below normal temperatures continues for the northern Plains.
Precipitation should be below average for southern to western Texas for the next three months. The northern Plains into Nebraska are expected to have more moisture than normal during that time frame.
ENSO-Neutral conditions are still present as we kick off the new year. These conditions are forecast to continue for the rest of winter with a high likelihood of continuance into spring as well.
We finished 2019 in a mixed fashion. A lack of moisture in portions of the Plains meant drought conditions and adverse effects on winter wheat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While on the other hand, the snowy pattern remained in parts of the northern Plains through mid-December. This snowy pattern has been a hindrance to harvest in North Dakota. As of the last Crop Progress report for the year from the USDA, only 43% of corn was harvested in the state as of Dec. 8.
Looking back at 2019, precipitation totals were record breaking for the lower 48 for January through November, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records. The year-to-date precipitation total was the wettest on record (record period is 1895 to 2019). The year began with a wet stretch for the entire United States, which was a contributing factor to this record.
I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for February’s update.
Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.