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AG Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: December 31, 2018

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Even though we’ve seen quite a few weather systems this last half of December, it looks like only the extreme southern portion of the Columbia Basin around Pendleton will end up with more precipitation than usual for the month. Most other farms received between 75 and 95 percent of normal. Look for a cold and dry start to 2019 with overnight lows in the upper teens and lower 20s tonight and Tuesday night. A little warmer air will return Thursday ahead of a frontal system. The front may bring a few light showers, but it looks like most farms will have little or no moisture for at least the first 10 to 12 days of January. Drought conditions currently range from abnormally dry north of Yakima to Ritzville and moderate drought in the southern Columbia Basin. No improvement is expected the next few weeks. The positive impact of this upcoming dry period is that farm to market transport should have few delays and livestock cold stress should be minimal. Also, mid winter orchard work should be able to proceed. The high pressure ridge will allow areas of fog to develop however. Soil temperatures are currently in the mid and upper 30s and should retreat to the lower 30s Tuesday and Wednesday before warming slightly again into the weekend. Winter wheat development and pasture growth will be very slow. Wishing you a safe, prosperous, and happy new year.

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