Long-range forecasters are predicting another polar vortex. Are cattlemen ready for an early return of winter?
Winter in September? Say it ain’t so! After a brutally cold winter and a somewhat cooler-than-usual summer, I’m not ready to hear about snow again, particularly with predictions circling about winter weather coming my way as soon as September.
Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather lead long-range forecaster, says, "The vortex could slip at times, maybe even briefly in September. There could be a significant shot of chilly air that comes across the Great Lakes region sometime in mid- to late-September.
“Temperatures will not be as extreme in November when compared to last year, but October could be an extreme month. October could be a month of snow and cold weather across the Northern Plains and in parts of the northeast Rockies.”
Admittedly, adverse weather warnings for October are an eerie reminder of last year’s Atlas blizzard that hit western South Dakota and surrounding states in early October, leaving tens of thousands of dead livestock in its wake. Even if ranchers are prepared for the worst this year, it’s hard to fight Mother Nature if and when she decides to strike.
If snow starts to fall in September, this will also impact calf health, weaning times, and even harvest.
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Below normal temperatures are also predicted, and it was the brutal cold last winter, not necessarily the snow we received, that made the season so long and miserable.
Pastelok also predicts a continued drought in the Western states and a soggy fall for the South, with tropical weather hitting the Southeast.
"We are looking at a low number count for storms in the tropics in the Atlantic, but we may have a couple more storms on the way," says Pastelok. "We've seen September in past years as an active month during past El Niño years, so don't count the season out yet."
Are you worried about what the weather will bring this fall? How much moisture have you received this summer? How are your crops and pastures looking right now? Will you take steps to prepare for early weather? Let us know what’s going on in your neck of the woods in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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