October Warm Temps and Lack of Rain

October followed a warm September with above average temperatures. Unfortunately, what was below average in October were our rainfall totals.

Looking back at October, our average air temperatures for the month were 4 to 7 degrees above average. Northern and central sections of the state, the yellow-orange areas, had the largest departure from the Oklahoma Mesonet Long-term 15-year average (2001-2015).

2016-11-04.Oct 2016.Air Temp Avg departure Continue reading

Fog On the Mesonet

Fog can put a real damper on travel and work plans. Fog slows you down and puts you at greater driving risk. On the farm, fog stops spraying, harvest, and planting. Fog is difficult to forecast. High moisture has to come together with low wind speeds over an extended period of time for radiation fog to set in. The Oklahoma Mesonet recorded those conditions on Thursday morning, October 27, 2016 across Central and Northeastern Oklahoma.

Fog and two trucks Continue reading

A “GOOD” Rain

Pat turned to me and with excitement in his voice and declared, “That was a “GOOD” rain!” Pat raises cattle. He watches his cattle closely to make sure they have what they need to stay happy and healthy.

So what is a “good” rain? For ranchers, like Pat, it means a rain that is timely. The rain needs to fall often enough to keep the grass growing. No rain. No grass. That’s what we had in 2011.

Young girl in puddle on farm

Photo: Chris Peterson Continue reading

It May Be Dryer than You Think

Thankfully, here in August we’ve had a summer heat reprieve. While we’re a little cooler, Oklahoma’s plants are still pulling a lot of water out of the soil each day. And for many Oklahoma locations soils are on the dry side. That can put a strain on unirrigated summer crops as they head to maturity.

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Summer Crop Heat Units in 2016

As July comes to an end in Oklahoma, farmers’ thoughts are jumping ahead to harvest. Farmers that planted corn, cotton and peanuts are thinking about the heat units those crops need to mature. They want their efforts to end in good yields and good quality. To check on crop maturity they can turn to the Oklahoma Mesonet Degree-day Heat Unit Calculator.

2016-07-28.AgBlog.No 01.Summer crops

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Assessing Cattle for Heat Stress — authors: Chris Richards and Al Sutherland

We don’t seem to slide into summer heat in Oklahoma. Instead, summer arrives with searing heat, days after it was cool enough to grab a sweatshirt. Now that we’ve recovered from the shock of summer’s arrival, this would be a good time to take notes on how the heat impacted your cattle. Did your animals suffer from the heat? Did you note any times of unusual behavior?

In Oklahoma, you have the Mesonet Cattle Comfort Advisor that charts daytime heat and nighttime cooling. By matching up the Cattle Comfort index values to your cattle’s behavior, you can develop heat stress thresholds unique for your location and animals from your nearest Oklahoma Mesonet site.

Cattle in sign shade close up - small file Continue reading

Working and Playing in the Heat

One of the weather risks that falls through the cracks of concern is heat stress. Maybe that’s because air conditioning is so prevalent in our homes, cars, and businesses. Maybe folks think Oklahoma’s a hot place and we should just tough it out. But heat can be a real risk, especially if you haven’t acclimated to the heat.

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Source: Popsugar.com Health Jenny Sugar, March 17, 2016

When you go outside are you ready for the heat? Do you know how warm it will be? Can you work or play without risk? Do you have an idea as you grow older of how much heat stress you can take? Do you know when young kids should reduce outdoor activities? Do you let an outdoor task dictate how long you will work or do change your work or play time to the heat conditions? Continue reading

Severe Weather Tool – Text Advisories

You’re looking out your front door at another storm cloud. You’ve located it on radar. But do those brighter radar colors indicate torrential rain or falling hail. How big is the hail? Can you hit the road or should you wait? Is there any flooding? NOAA National Weather Service text products can help answer your questions.

2016-04-28.Ag Blog.No 01.Storm cloud and pickup Continue reading