It has been a difficult spring season across most of the United States east of the Rockies. Unusually warm weather during March quickly gave way to cold air intrusions during April and May, making row crop planting a challenge at best. Heavy rains, several unusually late snow events, and severe temperature oscillations have producers wondering what conditions will develop during this upcoming summer.
LINCOLN — City planning experts from 13 cities across the Midwest recently gathered to talk climate: Climate extremes, variabilities, thresholds, risks and how they should utilize the information.
A very active weather pattern is currently impacting the central United States as a broad upper air trough over the western third of the country ejects northeastward toward the Great Lakes region. Severe thunderstorms developed during the afternoon of May 16 from Texas northward through Nebraska and dropped an extensive area of 1-3 inches from west central through eastern Nebraska.
Nebraska again saw higher-than-normal temperatures across most of the state in April, but it also saw a late-season snow storm that will have implications for Nebraska crops. Read more about it in the April climate summary, available here.
Nebraska saw its third straight month of average above-normal temperatures across the state. It ranked as the 11th warmest on record. Read about that and more in the March climate summary, available here.
Changes in climate do not necessarily translate into changes to management practices and interactions between sectors remain quite complex.
Those topics were key discussions during the Northern Great Plains Regional engagement workshop for the Fourth National Climate Assessment on Feb. 22 in Rapid City, South Dakota. Three satellite sites for the workshop included one hosted by the High Plains Regional Climate Center and Nebraska Extension at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
February in Nebraska saw both heavy snow and record high temperatures, a highly variable swing of climate compared to the norm. Read about that and more in the February climate summary, available here.
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.