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Just Your Standard Bull

published: June 2nd 2017
by: Michael Sturgess
       I read a story in the local newspaper today the weather experts at NOAA are predicting an Atlantic hurricane season with “more than the usual number of storms.” Of course, there is no way of predicting the number that make landfall or how severe these storms may or may not be. At any rate, the prediction is for the season to produce from 11 to 17 named storms, with as many as nine of those becoming hurricanes. On average, they claim that 12 named storms will develop with three of them making hurricane status. 
       The season usually runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, but we seemed to get an early kick-off back in April with tropical storm Arlene. They further stated that our current weak or non-existent El Niño conditions will do little to suppress these storms. It sounds like the proverbial bull in the china closet, where there appears to be nothing to hold the bull back from wreaking havoc!
       Forecasters at the U.S. Drought Monitor website, http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu, show a long-term outlook that shows a wetter than normal pattern for the Southern states, ranging from Arizona east to the Carolinas and Florida, beginning in the Fall and running through February of next year.
       For the months of June through Sept., the predictions are for “normal” precipitation. I can’t speak for you, but these are the ones that scare me the most. “Normally”, Texas weather can be described as times of severe drought briefly interrupted by intermittent periods of flooding. We never seem to get average temperatures or rainfall. We are known for our extreme swings from one end of the spectrum to the other.
       I am anxiously awaiting to hear what our good friend, Brian Bledsoe, has to say in this month’s column. Perhaps he can shed some light on what the summer has in store for us and see if he agrees on the wet fall forecast. I also look forward again to seeing him at the annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course, to be held Aug. 7-9 in College Station. Brian will once again be one of the feature speakers and will be available to everyone at the Southern Livestock booth.
       We hope you make plans to join us!

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