Rapid weather changes challenge Southwest farmers

Weather changes rapidly in the Southwest but rarely as quickly or as dramatically as in May, 2015. Across most of the region drought monitor maps that had been showing as much as half of the area still considered in moderate to exceptional drought status in early May changed to mostly drought-free by the end of the month.

With the much needed rainfall, however, came planting delays, crop setbacks, wind and hail damage, and deadly tornadoes and floods.

Farmers rejoiced to see moisture at last but began to despair as seemingly relentless rain kept them out of fields and prevented many from planting intended acreage.

Thanks to farmers, Extension agents and industry representatives for sharing these weather photos. We can use more showing crop progress, harvest and field work as the season progresses.

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