USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum featured a weather outlook for 2013 during the final session of the two-day event in Arlington, Virginia. Prior to the 2013 outlook—which was presented by National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Anthony Artusa—USDA meteorologists Brad Rippey and Eric Luebehusen recapped some of the key U.S. and Northern Hemisphere agricultural drought highlights, respectively, from the summer of 2012. In particular, the U.S. heartland suffered through its worst agricultural drought in a generation, with effects similar to those observed in 1988. Grain corn was the hardest-hit U.S. row crop, while the livestock sector was severely affected by a lack of feed due to drought-ravaged rangeland and pastures. Meanwhile, a hotter-, drier‐than‐normal summer impacted crops from southern Europe into central and eastern Russia. Hardest-hit crops included corn in Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as spring wheat in Russia’s Siberia District. Read more »
Snow surveyors approach SNOTEL site on Mount Hood.
Koeberle’s job carries her over mountains by helicopter and horse, snowshoes and skis. She has encountered grizzly bears, avalanches and wolves and visited ridges that few people have seen.
Koeberle is a hydrologist and snow surveyor for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and works on the agency’s snow survey team—a group of specially trained scientists who maintain snow gauges that are important to farmers, business owners and many other people in the West. Read more »
Buck Mountain precipitation gage with solar panel, radio stand, and electronics—Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire, N.M.
New Mexico experienced in June two catastrophic wildfires—the Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire and the Little Bear Fire. One consequence of those fires has been flash flooding. Water runs off more quickly during rainstorms in areas where fires have stripped the landscape. These floods can happen with very little notice, endangering communities downstream. Read more »
No matter where you live in the United States, you’ve probably noticed that the weather just hasn’t been “normal” in recent months. Our nation has experienced widespread flooding, relentless drought, expansive wildfires, and devastating tornadoes – sometimes all at once.
Some of the blame has to be directed at La Niña, a cooling of the waters of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. La Niña developed during the summer of 2010, leading to a profound influence on North American weather from the autumn of 2010 through the spring of 2011. In typical fashion, La Niña forced the subtropical jet stream northward, resulting in drought development, expansion, and intensification in the South. At the same, time jet stream disruptions induced by La Niña led to persistently cool, wet conditions across roughly the northern half of the U.S. Read more »