Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst

Wednesday 07/23/14

Mostly Favorable August Rain Forecast

When the hot spell of July 20-23 formed over the western Corn Belt, there was a fair amount of worry start up over whether this was the start of a quick switch in crop weather fortunes to a hot, dry, droughty end to the growing season.

Total August rainfall of one to two inches above normal is indicated for all but the southern tier of states in the U.S. crop belt. (NOAA graphic)

That does not seem to be in the cards. As the rainfall forecast graphic from the U.S. forecast model illustrates, August rain totals running from one to two inches above normal is indicated for the entire Midwest, most of the Plains, the Rockies, and the Southwest. The only area with below-normal precipitation is along the southern tier, from central Texas east to Florida.

A combination of southwestern U.S. monsoon flow (typical for this time of year); the prevailing high-latitude blocking high pressure influence that has been so dominant in shoving the storm track southward over the central U.S.; some influence from a weak El Nino-type Pacific Ocean temperature pattern; and a still-evident subtropical high pressure area off the southeast U.S. coast all combine to bring on this type of rainfall outlook.

Such a pattern keeps the factors in place for big crops this fall and possibly record-high corn and soybean production, which has been well-publicized.


Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Posted at 12:39PM CDT 07/23/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (3)
Reminder note--when you respond to topics, keep your comments pertaining to the topic and keep it civil regarding your fellow posters. Do that and we're good. Thanks.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 2:45PM CDT 07/23/14
Mr. Anderson, This is what I was referring to. From the Daily Mail online, July 5th. For years, computer simulations have predicted that sea ice should be disappearing from the Poles. Now, with the news that Antarctic sea-ice levels have hit new highs, comes yet another mishap to tarnish the credibility of climate science. Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earthâ?™s climate on computer simulations. But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming â?“ nearly 18 years long on some measures â?“ since the turn of the last century. Itâ?™s the same with sea ice. We hear a great deal about the decline in Arctic sea ice, in line with or even ahead of predictions. But why are environmentalists and scientists so much less keen to discuss the long-term increase in the southern hemisphere? In fact, across the globe, there are about one million square kilometres more sea ice than 35 years ago, which is when satellite measurements began. Itâ?™s fair to say that this has been something of an embarrassment for climate modellers. But it doesnâ?™t stop there. In recent days a new scandal over the integrity of temperature data has emerged, this time in America, where it has been revealed as much as 40 per cent of temperature data there are not real thermometer readings. Many temperature stations have closed, but rather than stop recording data from these posts, the authorities have taken the remarkable step of â?˜estimatingâ?™ temperatures based on the records of surrounding stations. So vast swathes of the data are actually from â?˜zombieâ?™ stations that have long since disappeared. This is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that the USâ?™s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using estimates even when perfectly good raw data is available to it â?“ and that it has adjusted historical records. Why should it do this? Many have noted that the effect of all these changes is to produce a warmer present and a colder past, with the net result being the impression of much faster warming. They draw their conclusions accordingly. Naturally, if the US temperature records are indeed found to have been manipulated, this is unlikely to greatly affect our overall picture of rising temperatures at the end of the last century and a standstill thereafter. The US is, after all, only a small proportion of the globe. Similarly, climatologistsâ?™ difficulties with the sea ice may be of little scientific significance in the greater scheme of things. We have only a few decades of data, and in climate terms this is probably too short to demonstrate that either the Antarctic increase or the Arctic decrease is anything other than natural variability. But the relentless focus by activist scientists on the Arctic decline does suggest a political imperative rather than a scientific one â?“ and when put together with the story of the US temperature records, itâ?™s hard to avoid the impression that what the public is being told is less than the unvarnished truth. As their credulity is stretched more and more, the public will â?“ quite rightly â?“ treat demands for action with increasing cautionâ?¦ Andrew Mountford
Posted by Brandon Butler at 3:27PM CDT 07/23/14
looks like sept-oct august not soon enough any way for some
Posted by andrew mohlman at 11:36PM CDT 07/23/14

Friday 07/18/14

2013 State Of The Climate Report

Steadily-increasing world temperatures and the effects of that trend highlight the 2013 "State of the Climate" report released this week by the American Meteorological Society. The news release is presented in this blog entry.


Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 reflect trends of a warming planet

Increases in temperature, sea level and CO2 observed; Southern Hemisphere warmth and Super Typhoon Haiyan among year’s most notable events

July 17, 2014

In 2013, the vast majority of worldwide climate indicators—greenhouse gases, sea levels, global temperatures, etc.—continued to reflect trends of a warmer planet, according to the indicators assessed in the State of the Climate in 2013 report, released online today by the American Meteorological Society.

Scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., served as the lead editors of the report, which was compiled by 425 scientists from 57 countries around the world (highlights, visuals, full report). It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on air, land, sea, and ice.

“These findings reinforce what scientists for decades have observed: that our planet is becoming a warmer place,” said NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D. “This report provides the foundational information we need to develop tools and services for communities, business, and nations to prepare for, and build resilience to, the impacts of climate change.”

The report uses dozens of climate indicators to track patterns, changes, and trends of the global climate system, including greenhouse gases; temperatures throughout the atmosphere, ocean, and land; cloud cover; sea level; ocean salinity; sea ice extent; and snow cover. These indicators often reflect many thousands of measurements from multiple independent datasets. The report also details cases of unusual and extreme regional events, such as Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated portions of Southeast Asia in November 2013.


Greenhouse gases continued to climb: Major greenhouse gas concentrations, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide, continued to rise during 2013, once again reaching historic high values. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased by 2.8 parts per million (ppm) in 2013, reaching a global average of 395.3 ppm for the year. At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the daily concentration of CO2 exceeded 400 ppm on May 9 for the first time since measurements began at the site in 1958. This milestone follows observational sites in the Arctic that observed this CO2 threshold of 400 ppm in spring 2012.

Warm temperature trends continued near the Earth’s surface: Four major independent datasets show 2013 was among the warmest years on record, ranking between second and sixth depending upon the dataset used. In the Southern Hemisphere, Australia observed its warmest year on record, while Argentina had its second-warmest and New Zealand its third-warmest.

Sea surface temperatures increased: Four independent datasets indicate that the globally averaged sea surface temperature for 2013 was among the 10 warmest on record. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions in the eastern central Pacific Ocean and a negative Pacific decadal oscillation pattern in the North Pacific had the largest impacts on the global sea surface temperature during the year. The North Pacific was record warm for 2013.

Sea level continued to rise: Global mean sea level continued to rise during 2013, on pace with a trend of 3.2 plus or minus 0.4 millimeters (mm) per year over the past two decades.

The Arctic continued to warm; sea ice extent remained low: The Arctic observed its seventh-warmest year since records began in the early 20th century. Record-high temperatures were measured at 20-meter depth at permafrost stations in Alaska. Arctic sea ice extent was the sixth-lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. All seven lowest sea ice extents on record have occurred in the past seven years.

Antarctic sea ice extent reached record-high for second year in a row; South Pole station set record high temperature: The Antarctic maximum sea ice extent reached a record high of 7.56 million square miles on October 1. This is 0.7 percent higher than the previous record high extent of 7.51 million square miles that occurred in 2012 and 8.6 percent higher than the record-low maximum sea ice extent of 6.96 million square miles that occurred in 1986. Near the end of the year, the South Pole had its highest annual temperature since records began in 1957.

Tropical cyclones near average overall / Historic Super Typhoon: The number of tropical cyclones during 2013 was slightly above average, with a total of 94 storms, in comparison to the 1981-2010 average of 89. The North Atlantic Basin had its quietest season since 1994. However, in the Western North Pacific Basin, Super Typhoon Haiyan – the deadliest cyclone of 2013 – had the highest wind speed ever assigned to a tropical cyclone, with one-minute sustained winds estimated to be 196 miles per hour.

State of the Climate in 2013 is the 24th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually as a special supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The journal makes the full report openly available online.


Posted at 1:24PM CDT 07/18/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (20)
Bryce, isn't it true that before the ice age at the time of dinosaurs the planet was much warmer, green house gases much higher levels than today to feed the much bigger and more abundant plant life. To make it sound that humans can change the climate and stop something that is occurring naturally as it has in the past is irresponsible. We need to prepare and use tools to adapt. We will use farming as an example, it is forecasted the the upper Midwest ( prairie pothole region) will experience more rain and larger events yet at the same time these groups are forcing policy that are taking away drainage rights and tools away from this region. These are the facts. Current policies are not addressing the problems correctly.
Posted by Unknown at 10:41PM CDT 07/18/14
Bryce: I am not sure where you are getting your data, but red-faced NOAA had to admit recently that there has been no warming since 1996. The U.N. data is completely fabricated.
Posted by tom vogel at 7:14AM CDT 07/19/14
I'm wondering why nitrous oxide doesn't get more press? Its mentioned here but there are no quantitative values. Nitrous oxide is 296 times more persistent than CO2 - my generation won't make a climate difference with that! In my area, environmentalists are constantly attacking drainage tile. Unwittingly, they don't seem to realize how much drainage tile can reduce denitrification - the production of nitrous oxide. Are the environmentalists ignorant about agriculture or is global warming/carbon dioxide their avenue to assert socialist behavior?!
Posted by Curt Zingula at 7:17AM CDT 07/19/14
Farming forty miles south of Chicago, we had our third coldest winter in 140 years and we just set another record for the lowest high temperature for the July 15th of 67 degrees for the high that day. Curt is right about the tile.
Posted by Rex Steffes at 12:34PM CDT 07/20/14
I guess that since Chicago's weather determines the price of grain it should also determine the state of global climate? I did see in C-3 website (climate, conservative, consumer) what Tom refers to in his reference. This website shows with graphs that increases in atmospheric carbon (which by the way it denies is happening on the same page) corresponds to increase of grain yields since 1960 so it concludes that carbon is a good thing to grain production, let's tell seed companies like Pioneer that we haven't needed their research, yields are going up because of increases in carbon that C-3 also says is a hoax! This is the "science" that conservatives point to in climate denial. You know I was in the super market and saw a newspaper that claimed Elvis never died and that a "Batboy" was found in a cave! Its all in print, I am sure its real and so why the heck listen to 97% of climate scientists or any scientists when we just want to believe what we want to believe?
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 5:15PM CDT 07/20/14
Jay, it's good to make jokes. but just to be clear we are talking about proposed laws that will hurt our ability to feed the world. You can't eat dirt, you can't eat recyclables, Pioneer, Monsanto and other seed companies are giving us the traits we need to double our yields so we can feed and fuel this world. I am positive the earth is warming and cooling and warming and cooling. I wonder if the reported rise in greenhouse gasses was caused by plants using less co2 in 2012? Plants shut down before grain fill in a lot of fields.
Posted by Mark KIngma at 6:10AM CDT 07/21/14
The climate has always been changing. What caused the glaciers in North America to melt? It must have been GLOBAL WARMING!!!
Posted by JEFF HANSON at 8:01AM CDT 07/21/14
I'm referring to the glacial meltdown that took place hundreds of years ago! Was that caused by native americans keeping warm around their campfires?
Posted by JEFF HANSON at 8:37AM CDT 07/21/14
Oh you're so silly Jeff, natives and as far as that the entire worlds population wasn't burning 90 million barrels of oil per day plus millions of tons of coal,,, in fact they weren't burning ANY fossil fuels! What you fail to understand is that fossil fuels are stored carbon which accumulated over millions of years (yes there are scientists out there that believe the world is older then 5000 years) and releasing this carbon in huge quantities for only <100 years is turning us back to a prehistoric atmosphere. And yes Mark you are right, you can't eat dirt so what kind of ag will exist when all the fossil fuels are depleted? There are better ways to power our transportation system and power the grid, why don't we make the switch now instead of drilling deeper and mining Canadian tar sands which takes a HUGE carbon footprint to extract??? Hanity and Rush are right, there is a "Mideast" of oil in North America,,, only they fail to say it will take another "mideast" of oil to extract it!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 9:50AM CDT 07/21/14
Jay,you still haven't answered as to why North America warmed up to melt the glaciers hundreds of years ago?
Posted by JEFF HANSON at 12:01PM CDT 07/21/14
I'm waiting to here for your response Jay. It seems people don't look any farther than they can see. The glaciers melting and moving thru the glacial lake system seems to never be addressed along with the ice from the last ice age melting.
Posted by Unknown at 7:34PM CDT 07/21/14
Oh wow,,, you guys are on to something I am sure scientists never thought of this! Hurry and call NOAA so they can tell 97% of all scientists they are wrong!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 5:28AM CDT 07/22/14
Well then answer the question Jay, your here shooting off your mouth as to how much fossil fuels is to blame for our current climate change. You surely should have an educated idea as to why the glaciers melted. And keep NOAA and your scientist out of it.
Posted by GWL 61 at 6:27AM CDT 07/22/14
Don't feel bad guys, I've been asking that glacier melting question to all my "green" friends for years to no avail. I'm sure all the fossil fuel use does not do the climate any good, I'm all on board with that. Surely one of those 97 percent of scientists can answer this question and shut all of us simpletons up.
Posted by TOM DRAPER at 7:30PM CDT 07/22/14
Again how times change. Going to school in the 70"s we were told by scientist that the world was returning to the ice age because the sun was burning itself out. Al Gore starts a global warming fad and all the "experts" jump in for the ride. Why is the almighty USDA not in on this, all we need to clear the air is one of their corrupt "reports" or "estimates" to guide everyone in the right direction like their markets they control.
Posted by DAVID/KEVIN GRUENHAGEN at 11:18PM CDT 07/22/14
I have posted these statistics before, but here they are again regarding the subject of "global cooling" predictions 40 years ago--A survey of the scientific literature has found that between 1965 and 1979, 44 scientific papers predicted warming, 20 were neutral and just 7 predicted cooling. So while predictions of cooling got more media attention, the majority of scientists were predicting warming even then. Out of 71 papers reviewed, only TEN percent predicted cooling in the future. 44 out of 71--or SIXTY-TWO percent--predicted warming.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 7:34AM CDT 07/23/14
Posted by Brandon Butler at 8:23AM CDT 07/23/14
I'd like to see some statistics posted pertaining to the fraudulent figures that NOAA has been throwing around. Haven't seen too many responses by the usual suspects when someone posts about THAT 900 lbs. gorilla in the corner of the room.
Posted by Brandon Butler at 8:25AM CDT 07/23/14
Mr. Butler--are you referring to the temperature trends that NOAA has been cataloguing and reporting on? That topic was brought up four years ago in the so-called "Climategate" controversy, and a review of the research and data scientists were working with found no manipulation of the numbers. And regarding the solar cycle--yes, the solar cycle is less at this time, which would have brought on an overall cooler trend in temperatures, but has not. We continue to see global temperatures increase as highlighted in the climate reports.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 9:02AM CDT 07/23/14
Thanks all for comments. This blog item is closed. We'll have new items for discussion in the near future.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 9:56AM CDT 07/23/14

Thursday 07/17/14

Canada Crops Benefit From Warmer Weather

The current upper level charts feature a weak to moderate ridge over western North America, centered mostly in the U.S., but extending somewhat into southwest Canada as well. The trough that brought recent fairly cool weather to central and east areas of the Canadian Prairies is seen moving off to the east.

The short range maps, today through Monday, show one trough moving east across the region early in the period and the second one tracking into the area later in the period. These systems will bring some showers and thunderstorms back to the area, but most of the heavier activity would be in the west and north areas. We also note a turn to cooler weather again for Alberta, while Saskatchewan and Manitoba turn much warmer during this period. This will likely favor crop development in many areas, mostly due to the warmer weather through central and east areas.

The longer range charts, days six to 10 of the forecast, show the western U.S. ridge strengthening and building first north and then east over the U.S Rockies and plains regions. This ridge may be strong enough to push some fairly warm weather north into the Canadian Prairies for a short period.

However, there are signs of yet another strong short wave trough moving in off the Pacific by the middle of the six-to-10-day period. This new trough may force the U.S. ridge back towards the south again which would lead to another round of thunderstorms and windy conditions for the Canadian Prairies region. It is somewhat uncertain as to where these storms would be the heaviest, but the early call on this would be somewhere in the central or east part of the belt. Temperaturess would turn cooler again behind this trough, at least for a time.

The strength of the U.S. ridge early in the six-to-10-day period makes the forecast for the Canadian Prairies somewhat uncertain. A strong ridge may force the thunderstorms further north and it could pass by the major growing belt. It also is possible, even if thunderstorms do occur in the major growing belt, that the ridge would rebuild following the passage of the trough and send another round of warm and dry weather back into the area.

In either case, is appears we are setting up for another period of more active weather for the region which will make the weather during the next week or so rather changeable.


Posted at 12:48PM CDT 07/17/14 by Joel Burgio

Tuesday 07/15/14

El Nino No Cure For California Drought

The following article from the news service at the University of California-Davis has a detailed update on the withering drought going on in California--and why one go-round with El Nino will not by itself reverse fortunes.--Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

A new report from the University of California, Davis, shows that California agriculture is weathering its worst drought in decades due to groundwater reserves, but the nation’s produce basket may come up dry in the future if it continues to treat those reserves like an unlimited savings account.

The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences study, released today at a press briefing in Washington, D.C., updates estimates on the drought’s effects on Central Valley farm production, presents new data on the state’s coastal and southern farm areas, and forecasts the drought’s economic fallout through 2016.

The study found that the drought -- the third most severe on record -- is responsible for the greatest water loss ever seen in California agriculture, with river water for Central Valley farms reduced by roughly one-third.

Groundwater pumping is expected to replace most river water losses, with some areas more than doubling their pumping rate over the previous year, the study said. More than 80 percent of this replacement pumping occurs in the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin.

The results highlight California agriculture's economic resilience and vulnerabilities to drought and underscore the state’s reliance on groundwater to cope with droughts.

“California’s agricultural economy overall is doing remarkably well, thanks mostly to groundwater reserves,” said Jay Lund, a co-author of the study and director of the university’s Center for Watershed Sciences. “But we expect substantial local and regional economic and employment impacts. We need to treat that groundwater well so it will be there for future droughts.”

Other key findings of the drought’s effects in 2014:

  • Direct costs to agriculture total $1.5 billion (revenue losses of $1 billion and $0.5 billion in additional pumping costs). This net revenue loss is about 3 percent of the state’s total agricultural value.
  • The total statewide economic cost of the 2014 drought is $2.2 billion.
  • The loss of 17,100 seasonal and part-time jobs related to agriculture represents 3.8 percent of farm unemployment.
  • 428,000 acres, or 5 percent, of irrigated cropland is going out of production in the Central Valley, Central Coast and Southern California due to the drought.
  • The Central Valley is hardest hit, particularly the Tulare Basin, with projected losses of $810 million, or 2.3 percent, in crop revenue; $203 million in dairy and livestock value; and $453 million in additional well-pumping costs.
  • Agriculture on the Central Coast and in Southern California will be less affected by this year’s drought, with about 19,150 acres fallowed, $10 million in lost crop revenue and $6.3 million in additional pumping costs.
  • Overdraft of groundwater is expected to cause additional wells in the Tulare Basin to run dry if the drought continues.
  • The drought is likely to continue through 2015, regardless of El Niño conditions.
  • Consumer food prices will be largely unaffected. Higher prices at the grocery store of high-value California crops like nuts, wine grapes and dairy foods are driven more by market demand than by the drought.
Groundwater a “slow-moving train wreck”

If the drought continues for two more years, groundwater reserves will continue to be used to replace surface water losses, the study said. Pumping ability will slowly decrease, while costs and losses will slowly increase due to groundwater depletion.

California is the only state without a framework for groundwater management.

“We have to do a better job of managing groundwater basins to secure the future of agriculture in California,” said Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which largely funded the UC Davis study. “That’s why we’ve developed the California Water Action Plan and a proposal for local, sustainable groundwater management.”

Failure to replenish groundwater in wet years continues to reduce groundwater availability to sustain agriculture during drought -- particularly more profitable permanent crops, like almonds and grapes -- a situation lead author Richard Howitt of UC Davis called a “slow-moving train wreck.”

“A well-managed basin is used like a reserve bank account,” said Howitt, a professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics. “We’re acting like the super rich who have so much money they don’t need to balance their checkbook.”

To forecast the economic effects of the drought, the UC Davis researchers used computer models, remote satellite sensing data from NASA, and the latest estimates of State Water Project, federal Central Valley Project and local water deliveries and groundwater pumping capacities.

The analysis was done at the request of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which co-funded the research with the University of California.

The report’s other co-authors include UC Davis agricultural economists Josué Medellín-Azuara and Dan Sumner, and Duncan MacEwan of the ERA Economic consulting firm in Davis.

California produces nearly half of U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables and nearly a quarter of the nation’s milk and cream. Across the nation, consumers regularly buy several crops grown almost entirely in California, including tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, almonds, walnuts, grapes, olives and figs.

More detail is at this link:…


Posted at 11:23AM CDT 07/15/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (1)
As California runs out of water in the next 2 years they can be assured that big oil will be able to keep up with their fossil fuel needs so gasoline prices will not rise and the amount of greenhouse gasses they expel will not diminish, proving to the world that we can continue the "American way" despite climate change.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 5:53AM CDT 07/17/14

Monday 07/14/14

No Heat Threat Yet

We continue to see the elements in place for a lack of real threatening heat in the Corn Belt. As of Monday afternoon, the northern branch of the jet stream featured a trough over Alaska; blocking high pressure from western Canada through north-central Canada; and another trough over northeast Canada and Greenland. This is a warm to hot pattern for western Canada, while eastern Canada is mild and cool. The southern branch of the jet features a trough over the Gulf of Alaska; high pressure over the western U.S.; and a strong trough over south-central and southeast Canada extending southward into the central and eastern U.S. Subtropical high pressure is located over the southwest U.S. and southeast Florida.

The effect of this large-scale setup is comprehensive and widespread; and in fact, this pattern has been generally with us since back in February of 2013 (yes, it pre-dates the infamous Polar Vortex winter of 2013-14). We are experiencing the impact in the form of a very mild midseason.

And, things do not change much at all during the next ten days, which takes us to late July. During the six to ten-day period the northern branch of the jet stream will continue to feature a trough over Alaska, but will also feature more trough over western Canada as the blocking ridge gets displaced eastward into eastward Canada. This will be a mild and cool pattern for most of Canada as opposed to just the eastern portion to start out the week. The southern branch of the jet stream will feature a lower-amplitude flow with embedded disturbances across southern Canada and the northern U.S. To the south of this jet, a strong subtropical ridge (high pressure) will dominate the southwest U.S. with some weak trough to the east of this ridge over the southeast U.S. This will be an active rainfall pattern for the southern U.S during the next five days, less active over the Midwest and northern Plains due to the strength of the trough over the central and eastern U.S. forcing the main storm track well to the south. During the six to ten-day period, as the ridge strengthens in the southwest U.S., the main storm track will return to the Midwest and northern Plains.

This will be an unseasonably cool pattern for the central U.S. during the next 5 days due to the strength of the trough over the region. During the six to ten-day period, temperatures will become more variable as a boundary zone sets up between the cooler weather to the north and the warmer weather to the south with disturbances moving along this boundary zone causing temperatures to fluctuate.

But here is the kicker and the bottom line regarding crop weather--There is no indication at this time that building subtropical ridging in the southwest states will lead to a significant period of hot, dry weather in the Midwest.


Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 2:48PM CDT 07/14/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (4)
Bryce, I know it is a little early, but here in Minnesota, we are wondering if we will get enough heat to get the crop to maturity. We planted most of the crop 3 weeks later than a May 1 normal. We are 100-130 GDU' s behind corn planted May 17 to the 22nd. That is about 6 days behind. Only 9.5 GDU's yesterday and probably not much more today. So we are loosing ground on heat to move the crop along. Do you see any probability of a stretch of above normal temps in August for us to catch up some. A few tassels here and there are starting to show up but full blown pollination is still a week to 10 days away.
Posted by MARK & LEA NOWAK at 7:43AM CDT 07/15/14
Mark, thanks for the question. Both the 6-10 day and 8-14 day forecasts offer above normal temperatures for the Upper Midwest--more favorable for crop progress.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 8:01AM CDT 07/15/14
Rockford, IL TV station is forecasting some possible frost in areas this week. Do you have any idea what model they are looking at?
Posted by Peter Erdmann at 9:50AM CDT 07/15/14
Forecast models all run through different iterations in their productions. Considering the very cool circumstances, it would not be a surprise that one of those iterations/presentations had frost as a possibility.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 5:19AM CDT 07/18/14

Thursday 07/10/14

Sunshine, Dry Weather Favors Crops

The siege of cool, wet weather appears to be over, at least for the time being, and the warmer, drier pattern that has taken hold since early July is beginning to benefit crops. Areas affected by excess moisture have begun to show improvement with the stretch of sunny, dry, warmer days beginning to speed up crop growth. There continue to be areas of excess moisture and crop death but the areal coverage is beginning to diminish.

The weather pattern that dumped the region with heavy rains and cool weather during the past couple of months is taking a vacation, hopefully a long one. However, there continues to be aspects of the winter weather pattern left over into the summer months, particularly the pesky high latitude blocking.

The upper air pattern that has evolved during the recent few days is expected to amplify further into one all too familiar from last winter. A ridge is expected to grow across far western Canada and through the Gulf of Alaska, possibly helped along by a continuing pool of warmer than normal sea surface temperatures across the Gulf of Alaska. At the same time an unseasonably strong trough and polar vortex is expected to slide southeastward from the Northwest Territories to the northern Great Lakes by early to mid next week.

If this sounds like some of the cycles we went through last winter then you would be correct. A pool of chilly weather will invade the central and eastern Prairies later this weekend lasting into Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. While it is not expected to be cold enough for frost it might become cool enough to slow crop growth a bit early next week. Alberta should see less of the chill and the best crop weather.

The goods news is that dry weather is expected for the region for a good number of days to come allowing further drying of excess soil moisture. Despite the cool push of weather coming during the next several days the weather outlook for crops is favorable for much of the region, especially for Alberta through next week and maybe beyond.

Longer range model forecasts that were largely wet and cool for later July and August from a week ago have taken a step back into a little more favorable category as well. The August outlook now is calling for only Manitoba to be a little cooler than normal while near to above normal temperatures are expected for the remainder of the region. Even the wet outlook as evaporated somewhat with mostly near normal rainfall now expected.

Doug Webster can be reached at

Posted at 10:44AM CDT 07/10/14 by Doug Webster

Wednesday 07/09/14

El Nino Explained

The following article from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) has a well-put-together look at some basic questions regarding El Nino and La Nina development--and impact--on weather patterns. The article's text as posted by Francesco Fiondella of the IRI, is posted below. The full article production is available at this link:…


Twitter @BAndersonDTN

For years, people have been pointing to El Nino as the culprit behind floods, droughts, famines, economic failures, and record-breaking global heat. Can a single climate phenomenon really cause all these events? Is the world just a step away from disaster when El Nino conditions develop? What exactly is this important climate phenomenon and why should society care about it? Who will be most affected? We address these questions as well as clear up some common misconceptions about El Nino, La Nina, and everything in between!

First, the basics. El Nino refers to the occasional warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean around the equator. The warmer water tends to get only 1 to 3 degrees Celsius above the average sea-surface temperatures for that area, although in the very strong El Nino of 1997-98, it reached 5 degrees or more above average in some locations. La Nina is the climate counterpart to El Nino–-a yin to its yang, so to speak. A La Nina is defined by cooler-than-normal sea-surface temperatures across much of the equatorial eastern and central Pacific. El Nino and La Nina episodes each tend to last roughly a year, although occasionally they may last 18 months or longer.

The Pacific is the largest ocean on the planet, so a significant change in its normal pattern of surface temperatures would lead to corresponding changes in atmospheric winds. This can have consequences for temperature, rainfall and vegetation in faraway places. In normal years, trade winds push warm water—and its associated heavier rainfall—westward toward Indonesia. The warmer waters in the west and relatively colder waters in the east Pacific reinforce the pattern and strength of the trade winds. But during an El Nino, which occurs on average once every three-to-five years, the winds fade out and can even reverse direction, bringing the rains toward South America instead. This is why we typically associate El Nino with drought in Indonesia and Australia and flooding in Peru. We have observed enough El Nino events by now that we know these changing climate conditions, combined with other factors, can have serious impacts on society, such as reduced crop harvests, wildfires, or loss of life and property in floods. There is also evidence that the regional climate anomalies associated with El Nino conditions increase the risk of certain vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, in places where they don’t occur every year and where disease control is limited.

However, while we may expect certain climate impacts in certain regions during an El Nino event, there is still a possibility that other aspects of the climate system in a particular year may work to offset the influence of El Nino. During either an El Nino or a La Nina, we also observe changes in atmospheric pressure, wind and rainfall patterns in different parts of the Pacific, and beyond. An El Nino is associated with high pressure in the western Pacific, whereas a La Nina is associated with high pressure in the eastern Pacific. The ‘see-sawing’ of high pressure that occurs as conditions move from El Nino to La Nina is known as the Southern Oscillation. The oft-used term El Nino-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, reminds us that El Nino and La Nina episodes reflect changes not just to the ocean, but to the atmosphere as well.

ENSO is one of the main sources of year-to-year variability in weather and climate on Earth and has significant socioeconomic implications for many regions around the world. The developing El Nino conditions in recent months offer an opportunity to clear up some common misconceptions about the climate phenomenon:

1. Do El Nino periods cause more disasters than normal periods?

On a worldwide basis, this isn’t necessarily the case. But ENSO conditions do allow climate scientists to produce more accurate seasonal forecasts and help them better predict extreme drought or rainfall in several regions around the globe. (Read a 2005 paper on the topic here.) On a regional level, however, we’ve seen that El Nino and La Nina exert fairly consistent influences on the climate of some regions. For example, El Nino conditions typically cause more rain to fall in Peru, and less rain to fall in Indonesia and Southern Africa. These conditions, combined with socioeconomic factors, can make a country or region more vulnerable to impacts. On the other hand, because El Nino enhances our ability to predict the climate conditions expected in these same regions, one can take advantage of that improved predictability to help societies improve preparedness, issue early warnings and reduce possible negative impacts.

2. Do El Nino and La Nina significantly affect climate in most regions of the globe?

They significantly affect only about 25% of the world’s land surface during any particular season, and less than 50% of land surface during the entire time that ENSO conditions persist.

3. Do regions affected by El Nino and La Nina see impacts for the entire 8-12 months that the climate conditions last?

No. Most regions will only see impacts during one specific season, which may start months after the ENSO event first develops. For example, the current El Nino may cause the southern U.S. to get wetter-than-normal conditions in the December to March season, but Kenyans may see wetter-than-normal conditions between October and December.

4. Do El Nino episodes lead to adverse impacts only?

Fires in southeast Asia, droughts in eastern Australia, flooding in Peru often accompany El Nino events. Much of the media coverage on El Nino has focused on the more extreme and negative consequences typically associated with the phenomenon. To be sure, the impacts can wreak havoc in some developing and developed countries alike, but El Nino events are also associated with reduced frequency of Atlantic hurricanes, warmer winter temperatures in the northern half of the U.S., which reduce heating costs, and plentiful spring/summer rainfall in southeastern Brazil, central Argentina and Uruguay, which leads to above-average summer crop yields.

5. Should we worry more during El Nino episodes than La Nina episodes?

Not necessarily. They each come with their own set of features and risks. In general, El Nino is associated with increased likelihood of drought throughout much of the tropical land areas, whereas La Nina is associated with increased risk of drought throughout much of the mid-latitudes. El Nino may have gained more attention in the scientific community, and thus the public, because it substantially alters the temperature and circulation patterns in the tropical Pacific. La Nina, on the other hand, tends to amplify normal conditions in that part of the world: the relatively cold temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific become colder, the relatively warm temperatures become even warmer, and the low-level winds blowing from east to west along the equatorial Pacific strengthen.

6. The stronger the El Nino/La Nina, the stronger the impacts, and vice versa, right?

Current forecasts show that a weak-to-moderate El Nino is likely to develop by mid-autumn 2014. Does this mean we should expect weak-to-moderate impacts? Not necessarily. The important point to remember is that ENSO shifts the odds of some regions receiving less or more rainfall than they usually do, but it doesn’t guarantee this will happen. For example, scientists expected the very strong El Nino of 1997/98-–which triggered wildfires in Indonesia and flooding and crop loss in Kenya--to also increase the chances of below-normal summer rainfall in India and South Africa, but this didn’t happen. On the other hand, India did experience strong rainfall deficiencies during a much weaker El Nino in 2002, and severe drought during the moderate El Nino of 2009-2010. So, while there is a slight tendency for stronger El Nino/La Nina events to have stronger impacts, many exceptions may be expected.

7. Are El Nino and La Nina events directly responsible for specific storms or other weather events?

We usually can’t pin a single event on an El Nino or La Nina, just like we can’t blame global climate changes for any single hurricane. ENSO events typically affect the frequency or strength of weather events-–for example, when looked at over the course of a season, regions experience increased or decreased rainfall.

8. Are El Nino and La Nina closely related to global warming?

El Nino and La Nina are a normal part of the earth’s climate and have likely been occurring for millions of years. Global climate change may affect the characteristics of El Nino and La Nina events, but the research is still ongoing.


Posted at 11:33AM CDT 07/09/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (2)
its about time u said something that made sense Bryce, "a normal part of earths climate"
Posted by Mark Knobloch at 9:58PM CDT 07/09/14
Amen ! Mark
Posted by GWL 61 at 11:58AM CDT 07/10/14

Monday 07/07/14

Wheat Weather has Global Focus

OMAHA (DTN) -- The U.S. Southern Plains hard red winter wheat crop, which is now being harvested, has had a variety of weather issues: drought, low temperatures and late-season heavy rain. As of Sunday, June 29, harvest progress nationwide was 5 percentage points behind average. Less than half the crop -- 43% -- was in the bin. However, the crop is not a full-fledged disaster; there have been some surprisingly good performances.

Favorable world wheat prospects hinder further price rally potential due to North American weather issues. (DTN photo by Elaine Shein)

"It has been an interesting year in that wheat just keeps hanging on," said Kansas State agronomist Jeanne Falk-Jones in a weekly harvest report by the Kansas Wheat Growers Association.

That resilience of wheat is reflected in the wheat market's perception of world prospects. At this point, Southern Plains drought is viewed as the only big trouble spot in the world's major wheat-growing regions.

"KC wheat prices are holding above important support at $7 (a bushel), but unless more problems emerge from elsewhere around the globe, it will be very difficult for wheat prices to trade much higher," said DTN Grain Market Analyst Todd Hultman. "Until those basic conditions change, the future course for wheat prices is lower."

One of those high-profile regions is the Black Sea region: Ukraine, Belarus, South Russia and West Russia. This region suffered from drought two years ago, recovered somewhat in 2013, and is looking very promising for its production in 2014, with mid-June conditions bolstering that outlook.

"Widespread showers and below-normal temperatures further improved yield prospects for wheat and summer crops across much of the region," noted USDA's Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin June 23. "A slow-moving cold front generated periods of light to moderate rain from eastern Ukraine into southern and western Russia, boosting soil moisture for reproductive to filling winter heat and vegetative summer crops. In addition, sharply cooler weather eased any lingering concerns over heat stress from the previous weeks, with daytime highs dropping to near-ideal levels for crop development." Recent rains have also been noted farther east into Kazakhstan and Siberia (former Soviet New Lands regions), where spring wheat is grown.

Later in 2014, Australia's wheat crop will be harvested. Australia is an important competitor, with particularly a large portion of the Western Australia wheat crop going directly to the export market. At this point, the analysis is "good to excellent" for wheat in Western Australia according to USDA. "Farther east, scattered showers in South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales continued to benefit winter grains and oilseeds, further aiding emergence and establishment. In southern Queensland, sunny skies and

generally adequate topsoil moisture spurred winter wheat development," USDA reported.

Other major wheat areas such as the northern U.S. Plains and Canadian Prairies spring wheat region have some issues with wet soils, but at this point, not of enough extent to rattle the market significantly. The Saskatchewan weekly crop report as of June 23 rated winter wheat at 70% in good-to-excellent condition and spring wheat at 82% in good-to-excellent condition.

"A deluge of rainfall in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba over the June 28-29 weekend dropped as much as 200 millimeters (8 inches) of rain on already saturated soils, with some estimates suggesting losses from acres not seeded or seeded and then flooded could be in the millions of acres for all crops, yet markets continue to reflect a lack of concern," said DTN Canadian Grain Analyst Cliff Jamieson.

In India, a slow-starting monsoon season also has failed to excite the grain trade yet.

"Concerns about dryness in parts of India are not significant enough to motivate the buy side of the market," said Hultman.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at

Follow Bryce Anderson on Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 8:57AM CDT 07/07/14 by Bryce Anderson

Thursday 07/03/14

Favorable Soybean Weather Forecast for July

OMAHA (DTN) -- The U.S. soybean crop, expected to be a bin-buster in 2014, has a full month to go through before its spotlight month. The market aphorism is that July is the key month for corn due to pollination, whereas the majority of soybean pod-setting and pod-filling is accomplished during August.

The July weather forecast offers a generally beneficial scenario for soybeans ahead of the critical pod-filling month of August. (DTN photo by Katie Micik)

That doesn't mean traders ignore the weather influences on soybean plants. July sets the foundation for good soybean yields in the form of plant health and robust growth for blooming. In the early stages of plant condition assessment, the evaluation is very positive. Soybean crop plant ratings the week of June 22 were tabbed at 72% good to excellent, a record high for the date.

"With these stellar crop ratings, the trade is now feeling more confident that the USDA's record 2014 soybean yield projection of 45.2 bushels per acre can be attained or even exceeded," said DTN Contributing Analyst Joel Karlin.

A big reason for that is a weather pattern that featured mild weather and consistent rainfall during June. While July may bring a seasonal decline in rainfall, temperatures are not forecast to take a sudden move to extreme heat.

"The lack of hot temperatures in the forecast and improved soil moisture across the U.S. adds bearish influence to soybean prices," said DTN Market Analyst Todd Hultman.

For DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino, the atmospheric configuration over the primary U.S. crop areas continues to generate favorable temperatures and periods of rain.

"Significant high latitude blocking high pressure is expected to continue in the vicinity of Alaska and northwest Canada, and in the vicinity of Greenland. This will maintain a mild and cool pattern for much of Canada," Palmerino said. "Subtropical high pressure will be located over the southern U.S. Disturbances in the jet stream moving along the boundary zone between the cooler air to the north and warmer air to the south will be the focus of frequent episodes of scattered showers and thunderstorms over most of the Plains and Midwest."

One feature that all of agriculture will keep close tabs on is the development -- or lack thereof -- of an El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean. The water temperature component of El Nino reached half a degree Celsius above normal in mid-June over the eastern sector of the Pacific. However, the barometric pressure component of El Nino known as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) had not moved into El Nino categories at the end of June. Government weather agencies in the U.S. and Australia forecast El Nino to be in place by August, which portends well for soybeans because of a strong relationship between El Nino in the Pacific and benign crop weather, or at least no threatening heat in the Midwest.

South Dakota State Climatologist Dennis Todey thinks El Nino may have already begun to display its influence. Still, he is hedging when it comes to predicting how long this feature will last.

"We could have the sea surface temperatures cool quickly and not have much El Nino influence at all," Todey said. "I think such a development (rapid cooling) is highly unlikely, but we'll need to wait to see if there is a stronger signal over a period of time."

The fact that soybeans will still have their critical month of August yet to come keeps Karlin from placing a rubber stamp of approval on the prospects for yield, even with a beneficial-looking pattern in July.

"Having great early-season conditions have little correlation with final yields, especially with the critical flowering and pod setting phase not occurring until August," Karlin said. "Traders realize there is a long time until this year's soybean crop is safely in the bin."

Bryce Anderson can be reached at

Follow Bryce Anderson on Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 10:47AM CDT 07/03/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (2)
Bryce, I recently saw an article on one of the news shows that implied that the Antarctic ice flows where on record schedule this year. Seems that we are gaining so much ice in the Antarctic that we have begun to make the artic ice of no importance. Your comments on the improvement on ice flows of the world? Or, will we sweep this under the rug. Sorry bout that. I know you have your beliefs (how ever erred they are). The weather seems to be going back to the early 60s, or late 50s. That would indicate a cycle pattern.
Posted by BD, NE LA. at 8:39PM CDT 07/03/14
BD, NE LA, More ice of artic could hint a cooler summer, which is good for grain yields.We can only guess for this season.
Posted by Bill Liu at 1:19AM CDT 07/08/14

Wednesday 07/02/14

Warmer and Drier Weather Returns For a Time to W. Canada

The rain and cool temperatures of June are hopefully a thing of the past, but not all signs are on board with that outlook. Temperatures during June were cooler than normal by 0.2 to 1.2 degrees C across the Prairies. Though not below normal by huge amounts, the chillier-than-normal readings combined with heavy rains have affected developing crops.

Rainfall totals across Alberta last month averaged 130% of normal while amounts rise to 191% and 198% of normal, respectively, for Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Two major rain events produced flooding of fields and slowed crop development.

The gloomy conditions and cool temperatures have slowed crop development since mid-June so that at least half of most crops are now behind their normal pace of development. Soil moisture conditions are mostly adequate to surplus with excess moisture and local flooding leading to crop damage in some areas. The greatest amount of excess wetness is across Saskatchewan and Manitoba while conditions are a little more favorable across Alberta.

During the past few days a drier and slowly warmer weather pattern has been evolving across western Canada as enough of a ridge from the western U.S. pushes northward. This ridge should bring a few more days of warmer temperatures and mostly dry weather to the region, helping to dry soils and to allow for increased crop growth.

The question then becomes how long will the improved pattern last? It appears the jet stream flow will settle southward again later this weekend into next week, along with an increase in shower threats. What we do not see is a threat for widespread heavy rains again this time around with a more normal hit-and-miss shower threat as the cold front and low pressure area cross the region Sunday and Monday.

Warm temperatures into the early weekend should cool back some early next week, but probably only to seasonable levels. We may see some increase in temperature along with minimal rain threats as we move into the middle and end of next week.

Can we say goodbye to the cool, wet pattern for the summer? I would not want to sign off on that just yet. There continue to be some computer model forecasts that bring back cooler, wetter weather as we move deeper into July and into August. The hope is that there is enough warmer, drier weather in the meantime to allow for increased crop growth and that any cooler, wetter weather later on is not of the magnitude of what we saw during June.

Some of the same players that brought the cool, wet spring are still with us across North America. The trough across the Gulf of Alaska is still there and can at any time send a new series of troughs inland across western Canada. The track of these troughs is all important as to whether the Prairies sees a few spotty showers or another dumping of heavy rains.

Doug Webster can be reached at

Posted at 1:24PM CDT 07/02/14 by Doug Webster

Tuesday 07/01/14

Favorable July Corn Forecast

OMAHA (DTN) -- The past two years have seen far different temperature trends for the Corn Belt. In 2012, record heat and drought withered crops. In 2013, a very cool pattern was dominant. So far, indications are that July 2014 will be closer to last year, and corn yield prospects in record-level categories are being discussed as a result.

Weather conditions appear favorable for corn pollination during July. (DTN photo by Pam Smith)

"The (corn) crop condition rating June 22 rates as one of the best ever for this time of year," said DTN Contributing Analyst Joel Karlin. "This helps cement trade ideas that the USDA's 165.3 bushel-per-acre yield projection is on track and may be exceeded."

The June 29 corn crop good-to-excellent total was a lofty 75%. Karlin pointed to five other years -- 1986, 1987, 1991, 1994 and 1999 -- in the 1986-2013 period when the June ratings exceeded 2014. Of those five years, only 1991 had final corn yields below trendline. Three of those years -- 1986, 1987 and 1994 -- "were years of record-high yields," Karlin said in a recent DTN "Fundamentally Speaking" blog.

Conditions are not ideal everywhere, however. South Dakota state climatologist Dennis Todey is concerned about heavy, record-breaking rain during June causing problems for the northern sector of the Corn Belt: the Dakotas, Minnesota, northern Iowa and Wisconsin. In this region, record-breaking rains have soaked many fields. Sioux Falls, S.D., for example, set an all-time monthly record precipitation total (for any month) during the first three weeks of June, with almost 13 1/2 inches, which is almost 4 inches more than the previous record 9 4/10 inches in May 1898. He looks for additional chances for wet conditions during July.

"The problem is not necessarily, will it be wet, but what happens between now and fall," Todey said. "If we have enough heat, a wet fall won't be a big problem. But if there's not enough heat, especially in the northern Corn Belt, there could be some problems with wet harvest."

Outside of the saturated north, mild weather and periods of rain appear set to be very favorable for corn pollination.

"July looks like a good month for the Corn Belt overall," Todey said. "There are no big major issues. We'll have to wait to see what happens with the wet areas. Overall, we're in pretty good shape right now."


One big reason for a generally-favorable July forecast is what appears to be a developing El Nino pattern in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino, featuring above-normal sea surface temperatures in the equator region and sustained west-to-east low-latitude jet stream trends, is seen as a non-threatening feature during U.S. summer seasons. El Nino has not yet been officially identified, but DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino says evidence is building that El Nino's influence is part of this season's weather scenario.

"We've seen enough indications, with an active tropical season in the eastern Pacific; the inability to really get the India monsoon on track; rainfall patterns increasing due to a very warm tropical Pacific north of the equator; sea surface temperatures a solid one-and-a-half degree Celsius above normal ... overall I think we're here," Palmerino said.

The U.S. Climate Prediction Center does not officially recognize El Nino yet, Todey said, but "it's either starting or very close to starting. Now the discussion is where is the core of the warm water setting up, how strong will this El Nino be; when is it going to peak?"

For the corn market, the issue of El Nino may be one of semantics. The cliche "rain makes grain" is fully in play for the month of July, despite the wet-ground issues in the northern sector. With that idea, DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom sees a bearish market weather factor going into the pollination month of July.

"Traders who trade USDA (and there are a lot of them who do) remember last year when the government refused to cut planted/harvested acres to the much-discussed levels everyone thought following spring flooding," Newsom said. "They may not buy into it this year unless it gets worse."

Bryce Anderson can be reached at

Follow Bryce Anderson on Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 6:57AM CDT 07/01/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (1)
Some weather observations from South Central Minnesota. We normally have 3 days in the 90's during June. This year there was none. In a normal growing season we have 13 days in the 90's. We are fast approaching the warmest days of the year and my DTN "local forecast" does not predict any 90 degree days thru July 16th. I'll have to do some local research and see if we ever went an entire growing season without a 90 degree day. But thanks to my DTN "on farm weather station", I read the GDU's accumulated every day. I started planting corn on May 17th. Normally by that date we have accumulated 170 GDU's from a May 1st start date. As of June 30 (yesterday) we have accumulated 820 GDU's on ournorth farm. Normal for this date is 868. So we are only 48 GDU's behind normal. We average about 20 per day at this time of the growing season. So despite nearly a 3 week late start to planting, we are only a little over 2 days behind on growth. Based upon corn leaf count, with normal weather for the next 3 weeks, we should start seeing tassel in about 18 days- nearly right on schedule. I recorded 10.78 inches of rain in June, an all time record for Nowak Farms for the 41 years of farming. I measured my drowned out spots and they amount to 2% of planted acres. Some in the area have more and some just, like us, under 3%. With/if ElNino treats us to a good non stressful rest of growing season, we can make up some of the lost acres with good yields on the remaining acres. Although I must say variability on corn plant health varies tremendously from field to field in the area due probably to compaction and or loss of nitrogen. One noticeable trend is that some of the best looking crop is on last years prevent plant acres that were treated with a cover crops. The tillage radish fields seem to be doing the best, especially if they were not tilled last Fall. Thanks Bryce, you and your staff do a great job keeping us informed on weather and climate.
Posted by MARK & LEA NOWAK at 8:48AM CDT 07/01/14

Friday 06/27/14

May Climate Report

Another month, another entry in the continual warming trend for the globe. That's how the May world climate report can be summed up. The text summary is posted here. The full report is at this link:…


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According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for May 2014 was the highest for May since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 39th consecutive May and 351st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for May occurred in 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month occurred in February 1985.

The majority of the world experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, with record warmth across eastern Kazakhstan, parts of Indonesia, and central and northwestern Australia. Scattered sections across every major ocean basin were also record warm. Part of the northeastern Atlantic, small sections of the northwestern and southeastern Pacific, and the ocean waters off the southern tip of South America were cooler or much cooler than average.

Global temperature highlights: May

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2014 was the record highest for the month, at 59.93 deg F (15.54 deg C), or 1.33 deg F (0.74 deg C) above the 20th century average of 58.6 deg F (14.8 deg C), surpassing the previous record of +1.30 deg F (+0.72 deg C) set in 2010. The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.13 deg F (0.07 deg C).

The May global land temperature was the fourth highest for May on record, at 2.03 deg F (1.13 deg C) above the 20th century average of 52.0 deg F (11.1 deg C), with a margin of error of +/- 0.23 deg F (0.13 deg C). The Southern Hemisphere land temperature was record warm for May.

Some national land temperature highlights include:

The nationally averaged May temperature for Australia was the third highest in the country's 105-year period of record, at 2.92 deg F (1.62 deg C) above the 1961-1990 average. The average temperature for South Australia was record warm for May, surpassing the previous record set just one year ago.

With national records extending back to 1973, the average May temperature was record high for South Korea, at 2.2 deg F (1.2 deg C) above the 1981-2010 average.

Spain observed a May temperature 2.5 deg F (1.4 deg C) higher than the 1971-2000 average. Most of the southern half of the country was 4-5 deg F (2-3 deg C) higher than average.

In North America, the U.S. state of Alaska had its sixth warmest May since records began in 1918, at 3.56 deg F (1.98 deg C) above the 1971-2000 average.

For the ocean, the May global sea surface temperature was 1.06 deg F (0.59 deg C) above the 20th century average of 61.3 deg F (16.3 deg C), the highest for May on record and surpasses the previous record of +1.02 deg F (+0.57 deg C) set in 1998. This also ties with June 1998, October 2010, and July 2009 as the highest departure from average for any month on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.07 deg F (0.04 deg C).

Although neither El Nino nor La Nina conditions were present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during May 2014, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center estimates that there is about a 70 percent chance that El Nino conditions will develop during Northern Hemisphere summer 2014 and an 80 percent chance it will develop during the fall and winter.

Global temperature highlights: March-May

Due largely to the extreme warmth during both April and May, the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March-May was the second highest on record for this period, behind only 2010, at 1.33 deg F (0.74 deg C) above the 20th century average of 56.7 deg F (13.7 deg C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is +/- 0.16 deg F (0.09 deg C).

The global land temperature was the third highest for March-May on record, at 2.27 deg F (1.26 deg C) above the 20th century average of 46.4 deg F (8.1 deg C). The margin of error is +/- 0.31 deg F (0.17 deg C).

Some national land temperature highlights include:

Autumn 2014 was the third warmest for Australia since records began in 1910, with a nationally-averaged temperature that was 2.07 deg F (1.15 deg C) above the 1961-1990 average. With the exception of the Northern Territory, every state observed average autumn temperatures among their 10 warmest on record.

In Europe, several countries observed record or near-record warm March-May temperatures. Latvia and Norway each reported record warmth for the period, while Denmark had its second warmest spring and the United Kingdom and Germany each had its third warmest.

Due in part to the record warmth during May, South Korea observed its second highest average spring temperature on record, behind only 1998. The average maximum temperature was record high for the month, while the average minimum temperature was second highest.

For the ocean, the March-May global sea surface temperature was 0.97 deg F (0.54 deg C), above the 20th century average of 61.0 deg F (16.1 deg C), also the third highest for March-May on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.09 deg F (0.05 deg C).

Snow and ice highlights: May and March-May

According to NOAA data analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent for May was the sixth smallest in the 48-year period of record at 6.6 million square miles, which was 0.8 million square miles below the 1981-2010 average. Eurasian snow cover extent was also the sixth smallest on record for May, while the North American snow cover extent was the 12th smallest on record.

The spring snow cover extent for the Northern Hemisphere was 10.8 million square miles, which was 0.7 million square miles below the 1981-2010 average and the third smallest spring snow cover extent on record for the Northern Hemisphere. The Eurasian spring snow cover extent was the second smallest on record, behind 2008, while the North American spring snow cover extent was the 20th largest.

The average Arctic sea ice extent for May was 4.9 million square miles, 240,000 square miles (4.6 percent) below the 1981-2010 average, resulting in the third smallest May extent since records began in 1979, behind May 2004 and 2006, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

On the opposite pole, the Antarctic sea ice extent for May was 4.6 million square miles, 470,000 square miles (11.5 percent) above the 1981-2010 average. This marked the largest May Antarctic sea ice extent since records began in 1979, surpassing the previous record large May Antarctic sea ice extent that occurred in 2000 by about 140,000 square miles. Much of the above-average ice extent occurred in the Weddell Sea off the West Antarctic coast, with above-average sea ice in nearly every region. Six of the past 12 months have had record large Antarctic sea ice extent.

Combining the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, May global sea ice was 9.6 million square miles, 2.6 percent above the 1981-2010 average. This was the sixth largest global May sea ice extent on record.

Precipitation highlights: May and March-May

Extreme wetness was observed during May over parts of central and eastern Europe, along with small sections in both eastern and western equatorial Africa. Extreme dryness was scattered across different parts of the globe, including northern and eastern South America, parts of northern and eastern Australia, and sections of East Asia.

Some regions in northern and eastern Austria received record monthly rainfall for May. The region north of Salzburg to Mattersburg observed 230 percent of average May precipitation, the most since records began in 1820. Several individual stations set new May precipitation records.

Across Spain, May rainfall was just 50 percent of average, at 1.3 inches (33 mm), with parts of central and southern Spain recording less than 25 percent of their average precipitation.

Wet weather accompanied the warmth in Norway during spring, as March-May was among the 10 wettest in the country's 115-year period of record. Some stations in northern Norway reported more than 200 percent of average precipitation for the season.

Global temperature highlights: Year-to-date

January-May was the fifth warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature 1.19 deg F (0.66 deg C) above the 20th century average of 55.5 deg F (13.1 deg C). The margin of error is +/- 0.18 deg F (0.10 deg C).

The January-May worldwide land surface temperature was 1.91 deg F (1.06 deg C) above the 20th century average, the fifth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/- 0.41 deg F (0.23 deg C).

The global ocean surface temperature for the year to date was 0.92 deg F (0.51 deg C) above average, the third warmest such period on record. The margin of error is +/-0.09 deg F (0.05 deg C).


Posted at 7:36PM CDT 06/27/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (15)
My skepticism about global warming isn't denial - it's distrust. Several years ago it was reported that nitrates in a local river were higher than they were 100 years earlier. I researched the data and found that in the early 1900s, nitrate samples were only collected in the summer time when aquatic vegetation reduces nitrates. The same report stopped short of using two below normal nitrate years in their "modern" reporting period. But who knew?! The word 'global' is synonymous with comprehensive. I have a hard time believing that in 1880, third world equatorial countries were concerned about globally representative temperature data collection. Turn a globe over and look at the bottom 1/4 of our planet - its all water and ice. Was that area of our planet well represented with temperature data in 1880? Is it today? Or, like the nitrate results, is data just cherry-picked? Fool me once ......
Posted by Curt Zingula at 8:19AM CDT 06/28/14
Good comments Curt and well stated, I'm in your camp -
Posted by Dakota Ag at 11:20AM CDT 06/28/14
Posted by Gene Tiedemann at 1:21PM CDT 06/28/14
I agree that Curt has a good point. I once was told there was an Easter Bunny, woke up to hunting colored eggs and received an basket of chocolate eggs on Easter Morning,,,,, while there was some evidence of rabbits in the yard Easter Morning it was in part a hoax,,,,, last time I beleive thermometer readings around the world!!!!!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 11:42AM CDT 06/29/14
I have never commented before. Maybe I shouldn't. But when 80-90 percent of scientists say there is global warming maybe we should wake up ! It won't matter to us. But what about our grand kids or great grandkiids. Maybe we should think of the future. We won't live forever although we all try not to accept that fact. Hoping for better future. THINK!!
Posted by DONALD LITTLE at 9:17PM CDT 06/29/14
Good luck on trying to stop an unstoppable force. Prepare to adapt, its called evolution.
Posted by Unknown at 9:26PM CDT 06/29/14
How are those warm temperatures making all that ice down at the S. pole? Maybe all the pontificating in certain areas of the world is leaving us all a little off balance! Has the current administration really made the seas began to recede back to the pole and become ice in just 6 short years. Maybe 80 to 90 percent of the crowd is chasing the wrong assumptions and u and me are being exposed!
Posted by Jim R Lerwick at 11:05PM CDT 06/29/14
"Unknown" makes a good point about preparing to adapt. If man's burning of fossil fuels and subsequent release of CO2 is the problem, then consider that in just 18 months China will increase its CO2 release by about the same amount as Obama policy expects to decrease CO2 here in the States.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 7:10AM CDT 06/30/14
80-90 % of the scientists? How is this verifiable? I won't link it, as you can do the research yourself, but just do a little leg work on what happens to the dissenters of climate change. This folks, is ONE BIG LIE.
Posted by Brandon Butler at 11:18AM CDT 06/30/14
so much for accurate information poured about half inch yet nothing on the 24 hour map yesterday what other results are inaccurate phil
Posted by Unknown at 5:52PM CDT 06/30/14
I attended a discussion on climate change at Princeton University this year, standing room only and hardly that. They were the greatest brains on the subject and their conclusion was that there is no question that their is serious climate change brought about by humans releasing CO2 from burning fossil fuel and that this is being sped up by perma-frost areas thawing and releasing methane gas. Yes at this point it is more about how we will adapt to this change that is already in place, but we need to deal with cutting down the emissions of greenhouse gas by using much less fossil fuels. The panel had little time for deniers and their questions other then to say the research and figures are in and they are dismal.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 6:28AM CDT 07/01/14
Posted by Brandon Butler at 2:14PM CDT 07/01/14
In regards to my last post, it is only a matter of a few hours I'm sure that Bryce and Jay will give give the excuses why the gist of that article doesn't matter, et al. I'll give you to water carriers a hint....STOP SUPPORTING THOSE THAT LIE AND MANIPULATE DATA. You are being used. Do we as a whole need to use finite resources in a better way? Do we need to care for our environment better than in the past? A RESOUNDING YES TO BOTH QUESTIONS. But to blindly follow those that have shown that they are manipulating data to fit and agenda torpedoes YOUR credibility and makes those that ask questions first turn a blind eye or put up objections to environmental issues. Just for once admit that there is big money behind the climate issues and there are those attempting to profit from it with less than lily white intentions.
Posted by Brandon Butler at 2:20PM CDT 07/01/14
!00 million dollar bribe to Democratic party by Tom Steyer to their candidates and Obama causes will get the Keystone Pipeline shut down and people say it is not about the,money what pathetic fools !! Good ole Tom made billions in the fossil fuels industry and plans on making even more with a little help from his slavish politically connected friends. It is really quite sad that people will give up so much so easily for a few dollars and some false praise .
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 3:48PM CDT 07/01/14
80-90 % of the germans followed Hitler.... talk is cheap. Make me a 200 hp tractor that runs on clean energy... I dare you :-P
Posted by Paul Beiser at 7:58AM CDT 07/09/14

Thursday 06/26/14

Too Much Rain and Lack of Warmth Slow W. Canada Crop Development

The stubborn weather pattern that brought cold weather and snow to the Prairies during the winter and cool and wet conditions during the spring refuses to ease. A new storm system moving into Western Canada during the upcoming weekend may bring more heavy rain which raises the flood threat for some and more low temperatures for all.

An active jet stream continues to ride inland through the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and then eastward along the U.S./Canadian border region toward the northern Great Lakes. Rather than shifting northward and allowing for warmer, drier weather at times the jet stream is being held in place by a blocking high pressure ridge across northwest and north-central Canada.

This upper air pattern is more or less a summer version of the weather pattern we experienced during the past winter. Since we know that wet and cool has been a theme of recent weeks the question is then how long is this weather pattern expected to last?

Most all of the computer generated models imply that we may see more damp and at times chilly weather as we move through July. An upper level low is forecast to remain through the Gulf of Alaska which will send along waves of low pressure every so often into southwest and southern Canada along a jet stream held further south by a blocking ridge across northwest Canada.

There will be a ridge of high pressure supplying hot weather across the southern half of the western U.S. during the next couple of weeks, but it appears that its ability to expand northward at times to bring the Prairies some warmer, drier conditions will be limited.

The latest crop reports across the region indicate that seeding is essentially complete for all summer crops, which is a feat in itself considering the episodes of nasty weather that occurred during the seeding season. Soil moisture is mostly adequate to surplus, no surprise since rains have been frequent and sometimes heavy.

As crops have germinated and begun to emerge, there are reports of slow development as a result of the cool, wet conditions. This will become more of a problem during the next few weeks if we continue to see more rainy cool weather, as many of our more reliable forecast models show.

The hope is that there are a few periods of warmer, drier weather when crop development can advance at a healthy pace. As it appears now, lack of moisture will not be a problem for most areas, but rather the threat of some excess wetness for some fields, especially low lying fields.

Doug Webster can be reached at

Posted at 10:09AM CDT 06/26/14 by Doug Webster

Friday 06/20/14

El Nino By A Different Name Maybe

There's been a great deal of discussion about the Pacific Ocean trends during the year 2014. Back in February, there were forecasts of an El Nino to form that would rival the super El Nino of the late 1990s. Jump ahead to mid-June, and while the is indeed some El Nino-related influence on weather patterns, the actual ocean conditions are not matching up quite as well. The biggest holdout, as many of you know, is the barometric feature known as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI); this feature has stalled out in a neutral category.


What is going on to keep the SOI from joining ranks, so to speak, toward the El Nino objective? There's not a definitive answer at this time, other than to say that the circulation pattern in the tropical Pacific has not gone into a prevailing west-to-east tendency. Certainly the water temperature is at El Nino levels; data kept for the eastern Pacific by my colleague Mike Palmerino show that the eastern Pacific region has a temperature trend of +1.5 deg Celsius above normal. That temperature level is in a moderate category for El Nino on temperatures.

There is some question as to whether this event will become a hybrid type of El Nino--an entity known as "El Nino Modoki". (pronounced MOE-doe-kye) This type of El Nino definition is fairly new; first recorded in 1986. The name "Modoki" is Japanese for "similar, but different".

In an El Nino Modoki, the Pacific water temperature pattern features a large pool of warm water in the central part of the ocean, with cooler conditions on both sides--South America on the east, and the Asian archipelago on the west. An El Nino Modoki is associated with some different trends than a typical El Nino--the most dramatic one being that, in an El Nino Modoki, hurricane threats to the U.S. mainland are greater than in a typical eastern Pacific-focused El Nino. As of this blog posting on Friday, June 20, 2014, I was not able to identify any definite impact references to agriculture in the U.S., South America, Australia, or Asia.

Is it possible that an El Nino Modoki is in the very early stages of forming? Yes, very tentatively. The Pacific temperatures right now are warm across the entire equator region, with the warmest values relative to normal just off the South America coast near Ecuador-Peru. So, right now, those water temperatures are not in an El Nino Modoki category. However, not too far to the south, there is a good-sized area of the ocean where the water temperature is running around one-half degree Celsius below normal. This pool is not too far from the island of Tahiti, where one of the barometers for computing the SOI is stationed--so, perhaps this is why the SOI has been hovering near neutral. And, if the cooler-temperature pool expands northward, there could indeed be an El Nino Modoki forming--possibly.

I'm going to do more looking into the El Nino Modoki topic, particularly regarding its potential agricultural effects. I am especially curious as to the relationship to precipitation in the western and southern U.S., drought in Australia, and the performance of the India monsoon. We have seen indications of a traditional El Nino-related effect in some of these areas already; whether a developing El Nino Modoki would change that or not is definitely worth more study.


Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 3:54PM CDT 06/20/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (3)
If we are setting up similar to 1986, I can tell you the effects on Ag that year in western Oklahoma-massive flooding! I was fifteen years old and just about the time we started cotton harvest in early October, it started to rain. It ever stopped. Rivers changed channels, bridges washed out, basements and cellars flooded that never had due to high water tables. Cotton harvest generally ended shortly after Thanksgiving back then. We finished in April, 1987 barely in time to get the next years crop planted!
Posted by MATT MULLER at 4:21PM CDT 06/20/14
I read an artilce on-line in the Western Producer back in February that was calling for this El Nino Modoki. According to this artilce this scenario would lead to continued drought in the West and Southern High Plains. Well areas in the Southern High Plains are getting some rainall now, but our area in extreme SW Kansas continues to miss the big soaking rains. Frustrating, but at least it seems like every week there is at least a chance and one of these days maybe we'll luck out and get a toad strangler. Looks to me like there is just still alot of unknowns in this El Nino forming in regards to timing, intensity, and effects in the west.
Posted by Brad Niehues at 9:35AM CDT 06/23/14
There was massive flooding across central Michigan during September 1986! We got 13" of rain in a 24 hour period in early September 1986 on our farm. It proceeded to rain on and off for the rest of the month and we got over 20" of rain during the month of September 1986! It was then dry during the month of October 1986.
Posted by JEFF HANSON at 9:38AM CDT 06/24/14

Thursday 06/19/14

Excessive Rains and Cool Weather Slows W. Canada Crop Development

A stalled low pressure area across the southern Canadian Prairies during the past several days has deposited excessive amounts of rainfall for some areas. This has resulted in significant flooding, soaked fields and potential of a diminished crop yield for some of the most affected areas.

Lethbridge, Alberta received a whopping 189.2 millimeters (7.45 inches) of rain since last Friday, not including yesterday's total. The monthly total of 230.0 mm (9.06 inches) is already 280% of the entire normal June total!

Why so much rain in such a short time? Our old friend high latitude blocking is mostly to blame and continues to bring episodes of undesirable conditions to North America and Canada at times. This time a slow-moving low pressure area moved in from the eastern Pacific and pulled northwestward a moisture-laden air mass from the central and Northern Plains of the U.S. up against the Canadian Rockies. The resulting upslope flow for several days in a row created a monsoon-like condition for southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan.

Dry weather has been difficult to come by for many areas of the Prairies this spring, with only the Peace River region of Alberta staying on the dry side of normal. Most other areas have been dealing with a surplus of rainfall resulting in surplus soil moisture conditions and even some flooded fields for some. Some fields have not been seeded for these reasons and may not be this season if the weather does not dry out soon. Reports from Manitoba indicate that up to 10% of field acreage may go unseeded if the weather does not cooperate soon with drier conditions.

Is there any hope that our soggy weather will end? There are signs that a drier pattern will take over across the Prairies during the next week to 10 days with most of our model projections pointing toward a developing ridge of modest proportions for next week. This should bring drier weather, but also should allow the cool pattern observed so far in June to warm to at least more seasonable levels.

Crops will be happy to see some sunshine and warmth to go along with drier conditions. The cool, wet conditions are likely taking a toll on early development of many crops for the region.

The prospects for the drier, warmer weather across the region may not have lasting power if some of our longer range model projections are correct. One of the U.S. models that forecast outward for 16 days brings back a rather wet pattern by the tail end of June and during the first few days of July. A second model that predicts July weather is saying that wetter and cooler-than-normal conditions may prevail for Saskatchewan and Manitoba with more seasonable conditions for Alberta.

Doug Webster can be reached at

Posted at 10:47AM CDT 06/19/14 by Doug Webster
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