CASPER, Wyo. — Drought conditions continue across much of Wyoming despite some snow storms in December and most of Natrona County remains in “extreme” drought, according to a Jan. 5 report from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The National Weather Service in Riverton said Thursday that precipitation in December remained below normal across most of the region despite some snow storms.
Even in the northwest part of Wyoming which is “normall wet” only saw 60-70% of precipitation normals in December. Southwest Natrona County and eastern Fremont County actually saw over 150% of normal precipitation for December, but remain in extreme drought.
“The latest crop reports have indicated that low soil moisture conditions continued during December,” the NWS in Riverton added.
Wyoming livestock pasture and range conditions “remained the most negatively affect area by the drought.”
“Reports across the state have indicated that some ranchers have been feeding hay to herds earlier than normal due to the lack of adequate pasture and are concerned about reduced hay supplies as winter approaches,” the NWS in Riverton said.
Due to the on-going drought conditions, ranchers were also forced to move herds to winter pasture lands earlier than usual this summer.
January is expected to be warmer than normal across the state. Precipitation could be near normal for this time of year, the NWS in Riverton said.
Nevertheless, drought conditions are expected to persist throughout the month and through the end of March.
This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.