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Bryce Anderson DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst

Friday 11/30/12

NOAA Drought Forecast

It's been a couple weeks since NOAA issued its winter drought forecast, but the details are worth noting.

(NOAA Map)

From central Iowa west to the Sierra Nevada mountains on the California-Nevada border, drought conditions are expected to persist through the winter. This obviously includes the western Corn Belt. The northern border of this drought area is the North & South Dakota line. Expected drought then runs all the way to the Texas coast. So, recent improvement in central and south Texas drought goes away, and drought conditions re-develop.

There is some improvement expected in central Iowa east through northern Illinois, along with the western Great Lakes (Wisconsin through north-central Minnesota, along with most of North Dakota. Some improvement in drought conditions is also expected in southeastern Missouri and the northern Delta. A mixed bag is featured in the southeastern U.S.--some improvement in Georgia, but persisting drought in Alabama.

The eastern Midwest is generally expected to either stay the same or show some improvement in drought conditions.

But the harsh reality is that, for the entire HRW wheat belt and the western Corn Belt, this forecast suggests that spring 2013 will get underway with some notable soil moisture deficits.


I'm on Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 2:57PM CST 11/30/12 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (9)
If this forecast comes to be.... Hold on to your hat. It's gonna be a wild ride.
Posted by jim saul at 7:32PM CST 11/30/12
just dont come down on the saddle horn
Posted by Unknown at 6:26AM CST 12/01/12
DTN 30 day precip totals show most of the nation with below normal for November. Not exactly a drought busting picture even for Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 1:32PM CST 12/01/12
Good observation Curt. Thanks for noting that.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 3:01PM CST 12/01/12
Bryce I am a first generation farmer here in the foothills of North Carolina. We have been extremely dry the past month. Is there any insite you could offer to what the outlook for our winter/spring may look like? Hopefully no-till will hold good moisture in the ground for us.
Posted by Russell Hedrick at 9:21AM CST 12/02/12
Hello Bryce, With the exception of 2012, the past decade or so has seen generally an abaundance of moisture in this neck of the woods. With the drought now gripping a large part of the country, would it be a fair assumption that we could be looking at many years of drought? Are dry weather patterns harder to break than wet weather patterns ? I realize that there's different things at play that can change our weather. We all know that the 30's had back to back years of extreme drought. What are your thoughts on prolonged weather patterns?
Posted by GWL 61 at 2:05PM CST 12/02/12
I go back to Joel Karlin's finding that when the Palmer Drought Index slips below -4.0, the shortest duration until the value gets back to 0 is around 18 months. Such a value appeared back in July, and using that 18-month parameter, we're looking at December 2014 before we see notable improvement. (That -4.0 is on a national scale)
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 11:27AM CST 12/04/12
This post does not mention the Pacific Northwest, but the "Winter Recharge Unlikely" column in Dec issue of Progressive Farmer does. Thus far precip inland (Columbia Plateau) PNW is holding above normal, contrary to "... Drought conditions are likely to develop, except along the coast".
Posted by S.D. Maley at 2:37PM CST 12/05/12
Thanks for the comment. Advanced deadline dates and weather pattern changes went their separate ways. Glad to see that things have improved in your area.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 3:06PM CST 12/06/12
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