It’s been a spring to remember in terms of record-breaking weather occurrences.
Usually we just look back at weather events across the plains the past month, but new information about a record setting May came out in early June that’s worth noting. Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri all marked their wettest May on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Severe weather was prevalent as well with over 500 tornadoes recorded in May. This was the most active 30-day period since 2011.
Meanwhile, temperatures also set new limits with many parts of the south recording their earliest 100-degree readings on record during the month. As of May, the wettest 12-month period on record was set for the nation as a whole.
Now looking back at June, in the first part of the month record breaking cold was noted in Sidney, Nebraska, and Garden City, Kansas, with lows in the 30s in those locations on June 10, according to National Weather Service records.
Emergence of corn and soybeans for the United States was still notably low toward the middle of June. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 79 percent of corn had emerged as of June 16. This is the lowest number in the stretch of 1998-2019. The lowest percent in that timeframe of soybeans emerged was also marked with 55 percent as of June 16.
Around the middle of the month, winter wheat harvest was also behind schedule in many states. The USDA said Oklahoma was one of those, with only 16 percent complete by June 16.
Looking ahead, a weak El Niño will continue this summer and there’s a chance it will continue into fall and winter. There’s less certainty with the latter as it will be dependent on how things progress this summer.
The month of July should bring above normal precipitation from the northern Plains into Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and northern Texas. Along with July, this trend is actually expected to continue into the next three months for those areas.
Cooler than average July temperatures are expected for Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska while southern Texas should experience above average warmth. More of the same can be expected in the longer term of the next several months.
I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for the next update.
Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.