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Date: 12/2/2014

Title: December Update

December is off to a fairly mild start in comparison to the record breaking cold that much of the nation endured in November. However, relative to averages, December is off to a close to normal start in regards to temperatures. As of this writing, rain was falling in many areas of California with more rain to come and heavy snow to the mountains of California as well. 
With the warmer temperatures and the much needed rain falling in the west, it looks like December is off to a fairly good start. However, we are just at the beginning of the month and many days and weeks to go until the New Year, therefore you may be wondering what the rest of December may bring to beef producers across the United States.
Let’s start with the first half of the month. For the first two weeks of December, the coldest temperatures will likely be found across the Northern Plains, Great Lakes and far Northeast and the coverage of cold for the first half of the month will not be as severe as we experienced in November. The south and nation’s mid section will likely experience near normal to slightly above normal temperatures.
In regards to precipitation, chances are good that there could be more west coast rains and mountain snows as well. Not only in early December are precipitation chances better for California but for most of, if not all of the month and into the New Year.
For the second half of December, beef producers need to be wary of an increasingly stormy period developing coast to coast. The impacts of a weak El Nino combined with increasingly colder temperatures moving in from the north could result in a very active weather pattern from the third week of the month and into the New Year. Cattleman should be prepared for increased chances for snow, ice, rain, wind and cold during this period.