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Date: 2/29/2016

Title: Wet Weather to Return to the Far West

February was a disappointing month for precipitation in California and many areas of the far west. After a stormy and wet January, only a couple of moderate precipitation events reached California and the west in February. The bulk of the colder and wet weather was in the Midwest, Great Lakes and East Coast.
The graphic below illustrates the areas of drier conditions in February across the far west. The brown and red areas highlight the below normal areas of precipitation between January 29 and February 27.


However, as we head into March, the much anticipated El Nino enhanced rains are going to return to California, the Desert Southwest and portions of the Central and Southern Rockies.  
Beef producers in those areas should be prepared for a much more active and stormy weather pattern in the coming weeks.
Stock growers across the south and Midwest should also be prepared for an active weather pattern as well.
It is not unusual during strong El Nino patterns to have alternating months of cool/wet with warmer/dry.
An active southern branch of the jet stream will begin to punch eastward into California, Desert Southwest and Rockies beginning next week. Rains will return to the Pacific Northwest and California coast along big snows in the Sierras. Farther eastward the chances for snow in the Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico mountains will increase significantly while areas of rain and snow will become more pronounced in the weeks ahead for the Front Range areas of Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. There will also be increased chances for rain/snow over the adjacent High Plains of Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
Therefore, despite the mild and dry conditions in February in many areas, be prepared for a much more stormy March.