Climate & wildlife professionals take step toward creating climate change threat tools

State and regional climatologists and fisheries and wildlife professionals know this to be true: Changes in climate are a growing threat to fish and wildlife populations in the Midwest. Higher temperatures. More sporadic and heavier rainfall. Longer periods of frost-free days. Each of these – changes already seen in the Midwest – are altering plant and animal cycles.

Office launches quarterly newsletter

The Nebraska State Climate Office is launching its quarterly newsletter with the Winter 2016 edition of Climate Dispatch. In this issue, we introduce ourselves and our Director Martha Shulski to you, our stakeholders.

In this quarter’s edition, you also will these stories:

A winter outlook by Al Dutcher, Agriculture Extension Climatologist with NSCO;

An introduction to our monthly summary;

A look at our statewide weather network: The Nebraska Mesonet;

Our upcoming schedule of events.

 

Short- and Long-Term Forecasts Suggest Highly Variable Winter Temperatures

As winter rapidly approaches, it’s time to look at current conditions and weather patterns expected to impact North America during the next six months.

Although the temperature and precipitation patterns in October 2016 were similar to those in October 2015, the underlying causes were polar opposite patterns in the Equatorial Pacific. Last year we were entering an exceptionally strong El Nino in October, while this year a weak to moderate La Nina appears to be unfolding.

Above Normal Temps, Precipitation Forecast for Nebraska

Al Dutcher, Agricultural Extension Climatologist, NSCO

According to the Nebraska Agricultural Statistics Service, the start of the fall harvest season has begun in earnest. As of September 18, two percent of the corn and soybean acreage had been harvested. With temperatures soaring into the 80s and 90s this week, we would expect these harvest numbers will have increased by the next report Monday, especially for soybeans.