Producers not only have to worry about the coming blizzard, but also what comes after

A big blizzard is making its way across the country this week, and producers need to prepare particularly in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. This story system is bringing heavy snow, high winds, and bitterly cold temperatures.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says that it is not just conditions during the storm that is causing concern but what is on the way after.

“One of the hallmarks of this system will be the lack of warming after the system pulls away meaning it’s just going to start getting colder and colder as we move beyond this storm’s primary blizzard impact. So, it’s going to be a very slow recovery, especially in those hard-to-reach rural areas where there’s gonna be considerable blowing and drifting that makes it really tough for livestock producers to reach and check on welfare of their animals in the wake of this system,” Rippey explains. “Another impact will be the freezing rain that is occurring in some areas, especially in areas where freezing rain precedes the snowfall and that’s going to put down a glaze of ice that’s going to complicate recovery and could lead to power outages, especially where that ice accumulates on power lines and trees.”

Livestock producers are not the only ones who need to be ready. Rippey also says that freezing temperatures for much of the nation are putting some citrus and winter vegetable crops at risk too.