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Date: 4/15/2013

Title: Outlook for May

As we head into the back side of April it is time to look ahead and see what May will bring to cattleman across the USA.  

However, before we dive into May, let’s take a quick peek at what the rest of April will bring. April has continued many of the same trends we saw in March, colder than normal for many areas (especially Rockies, Northern Plains and Great Lakes) as well as some late season snows. All indications suggest that more cool and wet weather will be found across many areas for rest of April. In fact, before this week is over more snows will be found across the Rockies, Northern Plains and portions of the Great Lakes along with unseasonably cold temperatures. Many areas of the Northern Plains and central and northern Rockies will finish up April with below normal temperatures (for the second and sometimes third month in a row).

The cold, however, as brought some significant late season snows to some of the hardest hit areas of the central plains in the past week. For example, the parched Nebraska panhandle, eastern Wyoming and many portions of South Dakota received 1 to 2 inches of precipitation (mostly in the form of snow) last week. Those very same areas will receive another significant round of snow this coming week. Also, many areas of the central and western Corn Belt are in line for some significant rains over the next two weeks.

The cool and wet March and April in the nation’s mid section should be an encouraging sign for beef producers in those areas who have suffered through some very dry conditions in 2012.

Although the news has gotten better for some folks, we continue to see dryness continue in the southern plains and southern Rockies. In particular, New Mexico, west Texas and portions of the Great Basin continue to be dry as well as some areas of the far west and Pacific Northwest.


May Temperatures

While we do not expect that May will be as cold as March and April, some the trends in April will persist into early May. Warmer than normal temperatures are expected west of the Continental Divide as well as some warmer temperatures in portions of New England. Temperatures are likely going to be cooler than normal or near normal in the Northern Rockies and the Northern Plains. Many portions of the USA will have near normal temperatures. There are no areas that we can see at the moment that would bring excessive warmth during the month of May.



May Precipitation

Drier than normal conditions are likely to persist in some areas of the far west and northwest. There is some hope for near normal precipitation in some areas of the southern plains and southern Rockies. One area that might experience above normal precipitation will be a small area in the central Rockies that may extend into some areas of western Kansas.


Overall May is looking fairly typical in regards to temperatures and precipitation. An average May would be good news for many as May tends to be one of the more wet months in the Spring season.