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Ag Weather Impacts-Columbia Basin-Palouse
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: February 23, 2018

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Well the question on everyone’s mind is when will this frigid February cold spell end? The answer is not soon. The jet stream has sagged way south allowing cold Canadian air to spill across the inland nw. Although temperatures will claw their way back close to normal next week, it looks like a significant warm up will wait until the first full week of March. In the mean time, temperatures will remain cold enough to keep crops and pastures from growing. You know earlier this month, soil temperatures were way up in the mid and upper 40s, but now are lower to mid 30s and will probably only rise into the mid and upper 30s next week. An active weather pattern with multiple weather fronts will bring more rain and snow through next week. Precipitation amounts will range between a quarter and half inch through much of the Columbia Basin, though farms near the Cascades and in the Palouse and Blue Mountain foothills from Spokane down to Pendleton may get ½ to 1 inch. The precipitation and cold temperature will likely cause moderate to occasionally severe cold stress for exposed new born livestock and other weak animals, so extra attention may be needed. Washington’s mountain snowpack is holding close to normal, while Oregon’s is still only ½ to 2/3 of normal. Multiple storms this week should make a significant impact on the mountain snow depths.

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