Ag Weather Forum
Mike Palmerino Telvent DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist

Tuesday 09/11/12

Some drought comments.

The drought pattern that the central US has seen during the past 2 years goes well beyond La Nina. In my opinion we are seeing a cyclical clustering of drought conditions similar to what we have seen back in the 1980’s, 1950’s and 1930’s. Certainly La Nina may have helped to support the drought conditions but is not totally responsible for them.

In terms of changes in the pattern going forward we have clearly seen more rainfall in the the south-central US including the southern and eastern Midwest enhanced by the impact of Isaac. We have also seen an intensification of the dry pattern in the northern Plains, northwest Midwest and Canadian Prairies. With a clear northward shift in the drought pattern from 2011 to 2012 could this be indicating to us a further northward shift in the dry pattern for 2013? Expected weak El Nino conditions during the next 6 months could also support this dryness in the north-central US.

In conclusion it is my opinion that we have not seen the end of drought conditions for the 2013 growing season. However the core of the dry pattern will likely be different that what it was in 2011 or 2012 with my gut telling me it will be more over the northwest Midwest, northern Plains and Canadian Prairies.



Posted at 12:35PM CDT 09/11/12 by Mike Palmerino
Comments (2)
Interesting post, Mike. Seems like drought is shifting west and north just like the core of the summer heat has since 2010. Thanks for the insight.
Posted by Bill Morris at 1:12PM CDT 09/11/12
I agree with your opinion on the movement of the drought. I think we are still going to see problem areas next year and the worst will move more to the north and west. I think this is a normal pattern of drought across the US from back when it started in the Southeast years back and moved to Texas and now northward. What I would like to know is how people affected this year feel the crops have responded? We have deep dark soil here in NC Iowa and corn yields are for the most part exceeding expectations. However, in some fields that are sandier in spots you can see a marked dropoff. Also hearing reports that corn on corn didn't fair as well. I've always thought beans handled dryness better but around here it seems that people are thinking the corn did better than they thought while the beans weren't as good. I think the corn had some moisture to start with ( thanks to spring rains albeit lighter than average ) but the beans went in pretty dry ground and got little rain. Major factors were soil type and new genetics.
Posted by Greg Schipull at 2:18PM CDT 09/21/12
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