Texas climatologist expects hot, dry summer, relief in the fall
Rolling Plains: There were reports of up to 10 inches of snow across parts of the region, which brought much-needed moisture. Along with the snow came sub-freezing temperatures, with lows in the single digits. Wheat remained in poor condition, but was expected the snowmelt will improve the upper soil moisture profile. Livestock remained in fair condition with continued supplemental feeding. Some producers were breaking ice daily, while others continued to haul water to cattle due to the drought. Runoff water was needed for lakes and ponds.
South: Throughout the region, cold temperatures continued without much rainfall or other precipitation. In the northern part of the region, soil moisture was short to very short. In Atascosa County, all oats and wheat emerged, and the pecan harvest was completed. In Frio County, wheat and oats were in good condition and being grazed, and potato planting continued. In Live Oak County, nearly all oats and wheat had emerged and were both in good condition. Range and pastures remained fair to poor, and livestock producers continued supplemental feeding at a steady pace. In the eastern part of the region, cold temperatures kept crop producers from planting spring crops. Winter wheat in that area was reported to be in fair condition. In Kleberg, Kenedy and Jim Wells counties, very windy conditions dropped soil moisture to short to very short. In the western part of the region, daytime temperatures were in the 50s to 60s, with nighttime lows in the mid-to-lower 30s. Soil moisture varied considerably, from 60 percent adequate in Maverick County to 100 percent short in Zavala County. In Maverick County, oats were 100 percent emerged and in good condition. In Zavala County, despite the cold weather, cabbage, onions and spinach were doing well. Livestock producers were providing supplemental feed to cattle on native range and pastures. In the southern part of the region, soil moisture ranged from 85 percent adequate in Willacy County to 80 percent short in Starr County. Cold weather brought planting to a halt in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties. Spring planting preparations continued in Starr County. Rangeland and pastures were in fair condition.
South Plains: Temperatures continued to fluctuate widely. The highest temperatures were in the 70s, and the lowest in the single digits, with below zero wind chill. Some counties received substantial amounts of snow, while others received just enough to make travel difficult. Areas such as Garza County that received 5 to 9 inches of snow were in pretty good shape. The rest still need precipitation to maintain pasture, range and winter wheat. With bitter cold weather, most producers did not go into fields, but some were preparing for spring planting by cutting stalks and shaping seedbeds. With the cold, wet weather, livestock had to be fed on a regular basis.
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