HOT AND DRY:
Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. Government climatologists verify what we already know - it was a hot summer. But just how hot?
NOAA released some preliminary data on the warm year we've had. Their reports say the U.S. warm season had an average temperature of 68.2 degrees. For the lower 48 states, that's 2.6 degrees above average. That warmth erased the old record set during the "warm season" in 1934. Some other interesting notes - 33 states said this summer was among their 10 warmest years on record. And at the same time, 24 states set their hottest temps ever in the 1930's. And none of them have been challenged since 2010. Perhaps even more problematic is the dryness. 'NOAA' says the national precipitation totals averaged 14.4 inches, an inch and half below average. Again, these are national averages
MISSOURI EL NINO:
Unfortunately, it does not appear the central United States will get much relief this fall.
Much of that region remains in a severe drought.
TEXAS HERD DROUGHT:
Because of improved grazing in the nation's top beef-producing state, Texas ranchers are a bit more optimistic this fall than last year. But according to economists at Texas Agri-life extension, those livestock producers remain cautious when it comes to rebuilding herds.
As the Texas herd shrinks, more cattle are finding their way across our southern border.
According to Derrell Peel at Oklahoma State, last year nearly one and half million head of Mexican cattle were imported to the U.S. That's the second highest total ever. He says imports in the first half of this year were on track to trump that number but have fallen off in recent months. Peel also thinks Mexico is exporting less because they're essentially running out of cattle. He says many of the recent imports were of heifers, and light weight calves. As drought conditions have improved, especially in northern Mexico, he thinks producers there are starting to keep more cattle in an effort to rebuild herds.