Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst

Thursday 07/02/15

Rainy Conditions for Corn Pollination

OMAHA (DTN) -- Thousands of acres of Midwest farmland are stuck in the mud as midsummer approaches, thanks to a stagnant upper-atmosphere pattern over North America.

A very wet spring and summer have fields from Missouri to Ohio threatened with loss of corn yield. (DTN photo by Bryce Anderson)

"We have seen a pattern featuring a blocking ridge (high pressure) over Alaska and far western Canada; a trough (low pressure) over central Canada; and another blocking ridge over Greenland in the northern jet stream through most of this season so far," said DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino. "And the southern branch of the jet stream features a trough in the eastern Pacific Ocean, a ridge over the western U.S., and another trough over the central and eastern U.S. There's also been subtropical high pressure over the southwestern U.S. The result is the frequent rain episodes that have focused their formation over the south and east Corn Belt."

The rains, helped out by an early tropical-season storm known as Bill, have done heavy-duty damage to all crops in the southern and eastern Midwest. A huge chunk of the Midwest (large portions of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) was hit by rainfall exceeding 10 inches just during June.

Corn, which had a mostly favorable scenario for planting and early development, is now worse off than a year ago, according to both USDA weekly crop ratings and the DTN Crop Condition Index. As of Sunday, June 28, the DTN National Corn Index, at 164 points, was down 8 points from the previous week and is a full 20 points below the same week last year. "As expected, the worst conditions are in states where flooding has been a problem recently," said DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom. "Indiana (corn) was rated at 21% poor to very poor, and Missouri was at 17% poor to very poor."

Behind this outpouring of the heavens is a combination of last winter's pattern, with an extra boost brought in from El Nino. "We are seeing a weather pattern evolving that is quite similar to the persistent patterns of the mid and late winter into early spring ... a strong trough across central and east-central Canada while a strong ridge develops across the western U.S. poking northward into southwest Canada," said DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Doug Webster. The old winter 2015 pattern effectively set the storm track over the eastern Midwest.

Now comes El Nino. As of late-June, equator-region waters in the Pacific Ocean approached differences from average as great as plus 3 degrees Celsius, values which have not been around since a very strong El Nino of 1997-98. The impact of El Nino-fueled southern-branch jet-stream action brings further impetus for storm development. Add in the ill-timed development of Tropical Storm Bill, and a corn crop that had very bright promise has had some bushels skimmed off. One estimate pegs Indiana row-crop loss already at $300 million.

The grain market has taken notice. December 2015 corn futures staged a 40-cent-plus rally during the week of June 21. "New-crop corn and soybean prices are showing new bullish behavior ... thanks largely to concerns of excess moisture," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman.

The recent move higher in corn is a fundamental supportive item to a long-term technical indicator from harvest 2014, Newsom said. "The general consensus was that El Nino was going to provide near-ideal growing conditions this spring/summer, something the market, through futures spreads, never agreed with," Newsom said.

Forecasts for July maintain generally cool conditions with normal to above-normal precipitation. On the surface, that combination sounds favorable for good corn performance. But, the pulverizing rains of June in the Eastern Corn Belt have put a different spin on this prospect.

"There is no clear evidence that we're going to get GDDs (growing degree days)," said Nebraska state climatologist Al Dutcher. "Also -- at this point there are no comparisons to 1993. But, a lesson from 1993 is that too much rain is as bad as drought, with nitrogen loss with a sharp drop-off from excessive moisture."

Dutcher also said chances are better for the current trend of above-normal rainfall in the Corn Belt -- and, throughout much of the central U.S. -- to remain in effect.

"There is more opportunity for this pattern to continue than revert to hot and dry," Dutcher said.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at bryce.anderson@dtn.com

Follow Bryce on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(CZ/SK)

Posted at 8:53AM CDT 07/02/15 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (1)
Drove from Michigan to Texas and back on two different routes and seen nothing but very poor corn and beans. There are small areas of good crops in Ark. and east Texas but thats about it. Along 57 in Ill. corn is small and in very bad condition,flooded,stunted corn everywhere you look. If we are to have trend-line yields of 165 bu. there better be alot of 300 bu. corn somewhere. Tenn. and Ky.were not as bad but not great. Ind.is in real trouble from border to border.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 11:53AM CDT 07/06/15
 

Wednesday 07/01/15

Hit-and-Miss Showers for Western Canada

A weather pattern with many similarities to last winter covers North America at this time. A western North America ridge is bringing hot weather to the western U.S. and southwest Canada while cooler-than-normal readings cover central and eastern Canada into the Midwest.

(Map courtesy Ag Canada)

Like last winter precipitation is having a tough time covering the majority of the western Prairies while Manitoba is doing better. This upper air pattern may be being fueled by a large area of above normal sea surface temperatures across the Gulf of Alaska which has been in this location since late last summer.

The bad news is that for those suffering from severe dryness there does not appear to be any major shift in the overall weather pattern coming anytime soon. Hit-and-miss showers have dotted the landscape during the recent weeks, giving a small percentage of Alberta and Saskatchewan some beneficial rains, but for most dryness continues to build, delaying crop progress.

During the past month most of the region has seen much less rainfall than needed for crop development, but far southern Manitoba as well as a couple of small pockets of central Saskatchewan and western Alberta have seen excess rains. The spotty nature of the rains is generally what we see during the summer season as showers develop in a local nature. The large-scale precipitation patterns of winter are typically associated with low pressure areas and overrunning precipitation. At this time of year these systems are crossing northern Canada most of the time.

The latest soil moisture reports from Alberta are showing 71% of the province is now seeing surface soil moisture levels in the fair to poor category and only 27% good. Dry weather across Saskatchewan during the growing season is delaying an increasing amount of crops. Across Manitoba conditions are better, with dry conditions covering central and south-central areas while it is actually too wet across far southern areas where recent storms have done some spotty damage.

The upcoming weather pattern will continue to feature mostly isolated to scattered showers across the region every several days as fronts cross the region but without the needed widespread rains. This appears to be what we should expect for much of July.

Temperatures will undergo a cool down this weekend into early next week which may help a little but most indicators point toward a revival of the western North America ridge later next week and into mid-July which may cause hot weather to return to western areas of the Prairies.

Doug Webster can be reached at doug.webster@dtn.com

Posted at 11:22AM CDT 07/01/15 by Doug Webster
 

Friday 06/26/15

Hope For Crops In Extended Forecast

Warranted or not, there has been trade talk this week about the heavy rains and flooding in the southern and eastern Corn Belt --associated acreage and crop condition effect--and subsequent references to the last time rain compromised crop conditions so late in the season, 1993.

Total rainfall in the Midwest the week of July 7-10 has a drier trend, which would be welcome for crops. (NOAA Graphic)

In looking at the two seasons, it's very apparent that the brunt of the 1993 flood year's crop impact was borne byIowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Back then, for the week ending June 27, 1993, Iowa's good to excellent corn rating total amounted to just 34 percent. Minnesota's corn rating that week was even lower, at only 17 percent good to excellent. Minnesota also had 24 percent of its corn rated poor to very poor. In 2015, Iowa's corn rating for the week ending June 21 was 83 percent good to excellent, with Minnesota at 80 percent good to excellent. Soybean conditiions displayed a similar contrast.

This year, the wet-weather issues going into midsummer are largely focused over the southern and easternMidwest--specifically southeastern Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. We've seen heavy rain and flooding in other locales as well, notably in Nebraska and Kansas--but the pummeling of the gut area of the Midwest is the trade-sensitive weather feature.

Now comes the big question, which is--"Will this wet pattern hang on through July?" Well--the U.S. GFS forecast model is leaning toward a drier trend following Wednesday, July 1. That's not to say we don't see rain in the soggy southern half of the Midwest, but these huge, monsoon-like events do not appear on the charts for the six to 14-day period ending Friday, July 10. That would certainly be a benefit to the wet southern half of the Midwest.

As for yield potential--DTN contributing analyst Joel Karlin will post a blog next week on what happens with corn yields in years when the month of June is wet. And he found that since 1970, there have been 20 months of June that have had heavy rains, and only 7 of those seasons had corn yield below trend line. Even the five wettest-June years (with June rainfall of more than 7.62 inches) saw average yields that met trend line. So, for production purposes, it's not time to write the crop off yet.

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(ES)

Posted at 1:37PM CDT 06/26/15 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (10)
dflageole@hotmail.com you need to take a ride in your car boy
Posted by DOUG FLAGEOLE at 8:41PM CDT 06/27/15
I printed this off so I don't forget. You guys need to get out of the office.
Posted by Unknown at 12:58AM CDT 06/28/15
Still believing in rain makes grain
Posted by MICAH SAMSON at 7:04AM CDT 06/28/15
In other words, one out of three wet Junes resulted in lower than trend yields. Sounds more significant in those terms.
Posted by TOM DRAPER at 8:38PM CDT 06/28/15
Global wetting
Posted by ELDON HAISCH at 9:03PM CDT 06/28/15
Thank you for this analysis. This is type of info we need to make marketing plans. We have a nice rally.
Posted by Unknown at 10:09PM CDT 06/28/15
Seven-day forecast charts Monday June 29 suggest 2-3+ inch totals again in the Ohio Valley-Missouri Bootheel-Tennessee Valley, but lesser amounts elsewhere, tops of 1.5 inches in Iowa/Minnesota/northern and central Illinois.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 5:37AM CDT 06/29/15
Had a great start in May with little rain and wishing for a drop of water. Now we need the tap turned off 8 inches in one week is starting to effect crops. Some fields haven't even been planted in southwestern Ontario
Posted by EDWIN BOLTON at 6:36AM CDT 06/29/15
Crops look like crap along 57 and 55 in Ill. Knee high yellow corn until you get to Ark. Lots of unplanted acres. I will be waiting to price crops.
Posted by Raymond Simpkins at 10:19AM CDT 06/29/15
Thanks for comments. The first article in the DTN Midsummer Weather Outlook series will be posted Wednesday July 1st.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 5:28AM CDT 07/01/15
 

Thursday 06/25/15

Higher Temperatures, More Dryness for Canada's Prairies

The long days of summer are in place, but we are seeing a weather pattern evolving that is quite similar to the persistent patterns of the mid and late winter into early spring. This pattern that is developing will feature a strong trough across central and east-central Canada while a strong ridge develops across the western U.S. poking northward into southwest Canada.

(Graphic courtesy of NOAA)

Despite an upper air pattern looking like February, we are not expecting winter weather to be attached to this pattern. We will see some of the same anomalies as we saw during the late winter, namely drier-than-normal conditions and above-normal temperatures during the remainder of June and into at least the first week of July.

The hope of some widespread beneficial rainfall for the dried out central and western Prairies will be minimal at best during the next 10 days and the additional problem of high temperatures are likely to be added to the equation as well. Like last winter, when the western Prairies saw the highest temperature anomalies and Manitoba saw readings a little lower at times, the summer version should produce similar results.

Temperatures could reach as high as 35 to 40 degrees Celsius (95 to 104 Fahrenheit) for some parts of southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan during the next five days while readings across Manitoba run close to normal. Rainfall looks spotty at best out west, with Manitoba more in line for a few showers once in a while.

As we move to the middle and end of next week, we might see a modest opportunity for some scattered showers across the northern Prairies as a front drops southward, but this system does not look like a beneficial rain producer. During the past week, we have seen some spotty showers across Western Canada with local areas seeing some help to soil moisture content. The spotty nature of last week's rains have helped a few, but left most without much help.

The cause of the persistent dry weather pattern could be tied to the large area of warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures across the eastern Pacific and Gulf of Alaska. This large area of warmer-than-normal waters has been in about the same location since last fall and some think has helped with the prevailing ridge through western North America. Today's SST anomaly analysis shows more of what we have seen for many of the past several months and in fact some intensification of the warm waters has been noted during the past month.

While there are many factors that cause and create the weather patterns around the globe at any given time, it appears that this warm blob of water through the Gulf of Alaska may be an important factor in producing the dryness for Western Canada. Given its persistence we unfortunately have to favor the idea of above-normal dryness for the critical next few weeks of crop development period. Temperatures are most likely to be higher across the west than across Manitoba, with rainfall more spotty for the west than across the east. Given this forecast, we will probably see increasing coverage of crop stress and even failure due to dry conditions.

Doug Webster can be reached at doug.webster@dtn.com

Posted at 10:57AM CDT 06/25/15 by Doug Webster
 

Friday 06/19/15

2015 Wet So Far, But Nothing Like 1993

OMAHA (DTN) -- Mike Carlson remembers 1993 and its severe flooding that damaged many crops that year. The Red Oak, Iowa, farmer said while the 2015 growing season has produced much rain on his southwest Iowa farm so far, it really does not compare to 1993.

Flooding in a Texas sorghum field in 2015. Weather experts say this year doesn't quite compare to the 1993 growing season flooding. (DTN file photo by Emily Unglesbee)

"It's not as wet as 1993, at least not yet," Carlson told DTN on Wednesday. "We had about 14 inches of rain in May and June so far. We only planted just four days in May, so the crop is behind."

STARTED IN FALL OF 1992

The Great Flood of 1993 is the recent measuring stick used to assess other wet years. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 1993 flood inundated more than 20 million acres in nine states, with both the Mississippi and Missouri rivers flooding. Losses were estimated to be $15 billion to $20 billion.

This year's nearly constant growing-season precipitation in many areas reminds some of 1993. While the 2015 growing season has been wet so far, weather experts say it is not comparable to 1993.

The flood of 1993 actually started in the fall of 1992 with above-normal precipitation in the Missouri and Mississippi river basins, according to Missouri State Climatologist Pat Guinan. This trend continued through the following winter and spring, he said.

"Essentially, the stage was set for major flooding across both basins for the summer of '93 if the wet pattern continued, and indeed that was the case," Guinan said.

Dennis Todey, South Dakota state climatologist, said the flooding along the major rivers in 1993 was due to winter snow melt and spring precipitation that primed the hydrologic situation, particularly in the north. Then heavy rains were dumped on top of this saturation all across the basins, he said.

"This year (2015) is very different," Todey said. "The only snow-induced flooding is in Colorado and Nebraska along the Platte River. The rest is just heavy rains."

Todey did acknowledge a few 2015 Corn Belt weather details have been similar 1993. Some areas have extremely wet field conditions and farmers have not been able to finish spring planting, something which also occurred in 1993.

However, in 2015, there are also large areas of the northern Corn Belt that are wet to just moist. These regions have not been having nearly the same issues they had in 1993, he said.

Doug Kluck, Central Region Climate Services director for NOAA's National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) located in Kansas City, said he agrees 2015 does not compare to 1993. While east Texas is seeing heavy rains and flooding this year, the major rivers are not threatening to flood (at least not at this writing) which did happen in 1993.

"The outlooks do continue the same general cool and wetness for the area, but I don't see the 'big river' threat yet," Kluck said. "All that said, I'm guessing some crops could really use some sun and heat to crank up maturation."

RIVERS RISING

In the Eastern Corn Belt, Jason Scott watched the Wabash River fill quickly with heavy rains earlier this week. The farmer from Burrows, Indiana, in the north-central part of the state, saw about 8 inches of rainfall push the river to near flood stage.

"Earlier this spring was somewhat wet but not to this extreme; it finally caught up with us this week," Scott told DTN. "We were able to get a soaker and dry out, but it's so frequent that it just keeps ponding. The Wabash River is as high as I've ever seen it."

The rains caused water to pond on his area's fields, Scott said. There are many 2- to 8-acre ponds in the low areas of fields. The rains have fallen in 0.5-inch to 1.8-inch intervals, he estimated, so there have not been bad gullies.

But the moisture is starting to take a toll on the region's crops.

"The low holes are gone," he said. "Beans are totally underwater and the corn is turning yellow and dying."

Carlson, the southwest Iowa farmer, said that in his locale, the good spots in fields still have potential to produce a high-yielding crop, but the wet spots are large and getting bigger with every rain.

"Water is just running everywhere now after last week's rains," Carlson said. "It is just oozing out of the side hills."

Carlson also said it needs to keep raining, as many corn and soybean plants will develop shorter root systems since the roots do not have to move far in the soil to find moisture. A dry stretch of weather after these wet conditions would be bad news for plants with limited roots, he said.

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(CZ/BAS/AG)

Posted at 4:56PM CDT 06/19/15 by Russ Quinn
Comments (4)
East Central Missouri is much worse than 1993. It doesn't matter what direction the rain comes from it all hits Montgomery County. We pour 2" to 4" out of our rain gauges about every other day. Farming is over for this Spring. RW
Posted by RUSSEL WINTER at 11:04AM CDT 06/21/15
2015 or 1993. Get real. 1993- Harvested 70 bu. wheat June 15. 2015- 80 bu. wheat flat and rotting in field- June 22 2015- 21 inches rain in May, 2015. 2015- 14 inches rain and still raining -June 22, 2015. 2015- No wheat left worth cutting, if we could cut today. 2015 Custom Cutters have all gone north will come back thru on the way to South Texas, in July, maybe Stats NEVER tell the REAL story. Look on Facebook about Red River flooding on Texas/Ok border, if you have any doubts about our rain problems.
Posted by Tom Stockard at 8:14AM CDT 06/22/15
Just because the city of Des Moines isn't flooded doesn't mean its nothing like 93.
Posted by Unknown at 2:52PM CDT 06/22/15
Flew to central Indiana yesterday, crops there are exactly like what I saw in '93 - short, yellow and standing in ponds. From the air we could see every tile line as a narrow streak of green, but in-between was yellow. They said NW Indiana was worse. Back in Eastern Iowa I'm now up to 9 inches of rain in the past two weeks - beans are turning yellow.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 7:21AM CDT 06/25/15
 

Thursday 06/18/15

Rainfall for Some, Little for Others Across W. Canada

Dry soil conditions expanded across Western Canada during the first half of June, with values as much as 44% short now reported across Alberta and Saskatchewan. While dryness is expanding on average, there are some areas that had some beneficial rains during the recent week.

The departure from normal (in millimeters) across the Canadian Prairies from May 17 to June 15 shows that the majority of the region saw less than 60% of the normal rainfall during those 30 days with a large chunk of that region seeing under 40%. (Graphic courtesy of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

The dry weather continues to hamper crop development in many areas, but we continue to find soil conditions too wet for parts of far southern Manitoba. However, one does not have to travel very far northwestward in Manitoba to find the same dryness that exists across the remainder of the Prairies.

The accompanying chart shows that the majority of the Prairies have seen less than 60% of the normal rainfall during the past 30 days with a large chunk of that region seeing under 40%. The lack of rainfall is most of the reason for the slow start to crop development after such an early end to the seeding season.

Rainfall during the summer tends to occur in more of a hit-or-miss nature as showers and thundershowers power up in a scattered nature most of the time, rather than the broad and more widespread nature of winter-like overrunning precipitation.

This explains the spotty rainfall nature with some areas with just a little less-than-normal rainfall across the Prairies during the past month, while others have seen nearly nothing. Rains have continued to be more generous across far southern Manitoba. During the past week, we have seen some beneficial rains fall across central Saskatchewan as well.

The forecast is becoming critical for some areas as the main crop development period is getting underway. Rainfall will be essential quite soon for the areas that have lost out on the spotty showers recently. The weather pattern does show some opportunity for showers across many areas of the Prairies during the weekend, especially for some of the driest southern areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. We must keep in mind that summer showers can be local in nature with not all locations getting wet.

The upper-air weather pattern portrayed to cover Western Canada for the remainder of June into early July is not one that would bring widespread showers for most areas, but there will continue to be a few chances of showers from time-to-time. During next week, some increase in the strength of the ridge across Western Canada may shut down most shower threats, but the following week may see a return of a pattern more like we have seen during the past week when some areas saw some beneficial showers.

An early take on July shows a continuation of our spring pattern with rains probably more on the spotty side leaving some fields dry and others with enough to get by. Temperatures may respond to the dry soil conditions and warm up to near- to above-normal levels for many areas later this month and into July.

We can hope that this weekend's shower potential reaps enough water to increase soil moisture and get crops developing. If the showers turn out to be isolated then we are likely to see further expansion of sub-par soil moisture and worsening growing conditions across the Prairies next week.

Doug Webster can be reached at doug.webster@dtn.com

Posted at 9:49AM CDT 06/18/15 by Joel Burgio
 

Tuesday 06/16/15

El Nino Update

Our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean for the first half of June stands at 2.4 degrees Celsius above normal. This is up from the 1.7 degree C above normal departure observed during the month of May. This is the warmest departure observed in our data base since the major El Nino of 1998-1999 when a positive departure as high as 4.8 degrees was observed.

The reason for the increasing departure at this time of the year is because the normal sea surface temperatures are decreasing by nearly a degree per month while the actual sea surface temperatures are remaining stable, hence the greater departure.

Another feature we are watching closely is the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). This is the atmospheric circulation in the Pacific that tends to support the ENSO condition. The more negative the SOI the greater support for El Nino. The 30 day running mean of the SOI reached -17.10 on May 26 which is solidly in the El Nino category. As of today, June 16 it has turned positive at +1.53. This would suggest the atmosphere has headed back into ENSO-neutral conditions. It will be interesting to see how the different direction between the SST and the SOI gets resolved.

The greatest impact from this El Nino in the U.S. this spring has been the wet weather in Texas and the southern Plains and the enhanced rainfall in the Midwest.

Mike

(CZ)

Posted at 3:22PM CDT 06/16/15 by Mike Palmerino
 
El Nino update.

Our latest calculation of the sea surface temperature departure in the eastern equartorial pacific for the first half of June stands at 2.4 degrees celsius above normal. This is up from the 1.7 degree above normal departure observed during the month of May. This is the warmest departure observed in our data base since the major El Nino of 1998-1999 when a positive departure as high as 4.8 degrees was observed.

The reason for the increasing departure at this time of the year is because the normal sea surface temperatures are decreasing by nearly a degree per month while the actual sea surface temperatures are remaining stable, hence the greater departure.

Another feature we are watching closely is the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). This is the atmospheric circulation in the pacific that tends to support the ENSO condition in the pacific. The more negative the SOI the greater support for El Nino. The 30 day running mean of the SOI reached -17.10 on May 26 which is solidly in the El Nino category. As of today, June 16 it has turned positive at +1.53. This would suggest the atmosphere has headed back into ENSO neutral conditions. It will be interesting to see how the different direction between the SST and the SOI gets resolved.

The greatest impact from this El Nino in the US this spring has been the wet weather in Texas and the southern Plains and the enhanced rainfall in the Midwest.

Mike

(CZ)

Posted at 3:22PM CDT 06/16/15 by Mike Palmerino
 

Friday 06/12/15

NOAA El Nino Commentary

Following is the full commentary on current Pacific Ocean conditions by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issued this past week. -- Bryce

(Graphic courtesy of NOAA)

ENSO Alert System Status: El Nino Advisory

Synopsis: There is a greater than 90% chance that El Nino will continue through Northern Hemisphere fall 2015, and around an 85% chance it will last through the 2015-16 winter.

During May, sea surface temperatures (SST) anomalies increased across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. All of the Nino indices were in excess of +1.0 degree Celsius, with the largest anomalies in the eastern Pacific, indicated by recent weekly values of +1.4 deg C. After a slight decline in April, positive subsurface temperature anomalies strengthened during May in association with the progress of a downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave. In addition, anomalous low-level westerly winds remained over most of the equatorial Pacific, and were accompanied by anomalous upper-level easterly winds. The traditional and equatorial Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) were both negative, consistent with enhanced convection over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific and suppressed convection over Indonesia. Collectively, these atmospheric and oceanic features reflect an ongoing and strengthening El Nino.

Nearly all models predict El Nino to continue throughout 2015, with many predicting SST anomalies to increase into the late fall 2015. For the fall and early winter, the consensus of forecasters slightly favors a strong event (3-month values of the Nino-3.4 index +1.5 deg C or greater), relative to a weaker event. However, this prediction may vary in the months ahead as strength forecasts are the most challenging aspect of ENSO prediction. A moderate, weak, or even no El Nino remains possible, though at increasingly lesser odds. There is a greater than 90% chance that El Nino will continue through Northern Hemisphere fall 2015, and around an 85% chance it will last through the 2015-16 winter.

Across the contiguous United States, temperature and precipitation impacts associated with El Nino are expected to remain minimal during the Northern Hemisphere summer and increase into the late fall and winter (the 3-month seasonal outlook will be updated on Thursday June 18th). El Nino will likely be a contributor to a below normal Atlantic hurricane season, and above-normal hurricane seasons in both the central and eastern Pacific hurricane basins.

BA note -- In addition to the below normal hurricane season, El Nino is a big factor in grain market sentiment that row crop production this year in the U.S. will be at least trendline if not above.

(ES)

Posted at 2:57PM CDT 06/12/15 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (2)
We who farm in S E Mn are extremely wet, appears this trend will continue through the month of June according to DTN weather models. Do you see this as an El nino affect currently ? You mention El nino will affect us into the fall meaning what wetter than normal or drier . Corn is starting to yellow beans are doing the same. Thanks Tom
Posted by TOM PYFFEROEN at 6:43AM CDT 06/15/15
El Nino in the fall season is an above-normal precip maker--so we could have a wetter harvest season similar to last year.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 4:45AM CDT 06/16/15
 

Thursday 06/11/15

Canada Rainfall Chances Increase Somewhat

The upper level ridge that has been over Western Canada much of the spring is showing signs of relocating farther from the area. This may allow for more and better chances for rainfall in some of the driest areas of the southwest Canadian Prairies during the next week to 10 days.

The longer range charts, verifying at eight to 10 days from now, show a mean upper level ridge located between western Alaska and far eastern Siberia. This opens the door for low pressure systems to come underneath this ridge into either Western Canada or the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. before moving eastward. This is a somewhat better pattern in terms of getting rainfall to become more widespread over Canada's Prairies.

However, we still note a split jet stream pattern over the North America region away from this high latitude blocking ridge. The northern branch of the jet stream features a trough over north-central to northeast Canada, along with the ridge that is over western Alaska and Siberia. The northwest flow around the back side of the trough is into northern Saskatchewan and northern Manitoba, possibly keeping these areas drier but cooler.

The southern branch of the jet stream features a trough over the western U.S. region and a ridge over the east, especially the southeast U.S. This represents a storm track that would bring systems into the West Coast of North America over the northern Rockies region of the U.S. and then near or just south of Manitoba, Canada.

Canada's Prairies are still between the northern and southern jet streams at that time. This is one aspect of the pattern that is still troublesome in terms of increasing the rainfall chances. However, with the ridge centered so far to the northwest it does allow for the rain shield associated with the southern storm track to come somewhat further north than has been the case during recent weeks. Also, this is an outlook at the eight-to-10-day period. Prior to this period the trough is in its developmental stages. This includes one trough moving over the area during the next one to three days and a second trough moving over the area during the early to middle portion of next week. The second of the troughs is the one that forces the southward shift to the southern jet stream and gets us to where we are at eight to 10 days out.

If the trends continue and the western ridge remains well away from the area, it may be only a matter of time before significant rains ease current dryness concerns through southwest growing areas. However, until the southern branch of the jet stream lifts northward into the area, the outlook of better rain chances is uncertain.

Joel Burgio can be reached at Joel.burgio@dtn.com

Posted at 10:39AM CDT 06/11/15 by Joel Burgio
 

Wednesday 06/10/15

Australia El Nino Update

Following are selected comments from the latest Pacific Ocean analysis done by the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. This agency is still calling for El Nino development in the Pacific, despite a recent relaxing of the atmospheric indicator known as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI).--Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

The 2015 El Nino continues to develop. International climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology suggest further warming of the tropical Pacific is likely, with sea surface temperatures forecast to remain above El Nino thresholds for the remainder of the year.

Most oceanic and atmospheric indicators are consistent with El Nino. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific have continued to warm, and trade winds have been consistently weaker than average. However, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is currently rising, with this due to local weather, not climate factors. In the past three months the SOI has averaged −9.7, exceeding El Nino thresholds. Cloudiness near the International Date Line has also eased towards more normal levels, but this shift may only be short-lived.

The sea surface temperature (SST) map for the week ending June 7 2015 clearly shows an El Nino pattern in the tropical Pacific region, with a warm tongue extending across the equatorial Pacific from the South American coastline. Warm anomalies over the past fortnight have increased across most of the equatorial tropical Pacific. The warm tongue of positive anomalies currently extends well past the Date Line, with much of this region in excess of +1 degree Celsius, and small areas in excess of +2 deg C starting to appear in the eastern to central regions. All five NINO indices are at least +1.2 deg C above normal. It is unusual to have such a broad extent of warmth across the tropical Pacific; this has not been seen since the El Nino event of 1997-98.

The SST anomaly map for May 2015 shows positive anomalies across the equatorial Pacific. These positive anomalies extend from the South American coastline, and past the International Date Line to around 160 degrees East. The northeast Pacific Ocean continues to remain above average, while SST anomalies surrounding Australia cooled compared to April, with May anomalies in the Australian region generally close to average. All five NINO indices averaged over the month were greater than +1 degree Celsius, which again has not occurred since the El Nino of 1997-98.

All eight of the surveyed international climate models indicate the central Pacific Ocean will warm further during the coming months. All surveyed models indicate that NINO3.4 will remain above El Nino thresholds through the southern hemisphere winter and at least through to the end of the year.

(ES)

Posted at 2:58PM CDT 06/10/15 by Bryce Anderson
 

Tuesday 06/09/15

May Was Record-Wet

Rain gauge totals have been added up--and the month of May 2015 comes in at Number-One in recordkeeping history for rain in the contiguous U.S. To anyone in the southern Plains and in portions of the western Midwest, this does not come as a surprise. May also was warmer than the 20th century average--continuing a long-running trend. Here is the full report from NOAA.--Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

May 2015 was wettest month on record for contiguous U.S.

Devastating floods end multiyear drought in Southern Plains

June 8, 2015

The May contiguous U.S. average temperature was 60.8 degrees Fahrenheit, 0.6 deg F above the 20th century average, ranking near the median value in the 121-year record. Much of the East Coast and Northwest were warmer than average, particularly the Northeast where four states were record warm. Below-average temperatures were observed across the central U.S. The spring (March-May) contiguous U.S average temperature was 53.2 deg F, 2.2 deg F above the 20th century average, and the 11th warmest on record.

The May precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 4.36 inches, 1.45 inches above average. This was the wettest May on record, and the wettest month of any month, in the 121-years of record keeping. For the spring season, the contiguous U.S. precipitation total was 9.33 inches, 1.39 inches above average, and the 11th wettest on record.

May 2015

Above-average temperatures were widespread in the East, where 15 states were much warmer than average. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island were each record warm. In the Pacific Northwest, Washington was also much warmer than average. Below-average temperatures spanned the Great Plains and Southern Rockies.

The Alaska statewide average temperature for May was the warmest on record in 91-years of record keeping at 44.9 deg F, 7.1 F above average. The warmth in Alaska was widespread with several cities being were record warm, including Barrow and Juneau.

Wetter than average conditions were widespread across the central United States. Fifteen states from the Great Basin to Mississippi River had precipitation totals that were much above average. Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas were each record wet for the month. In fact, Oklahoma and Texas each had their wettest month of any month on record with precipitation totals more than twice the long-term average.

The heavy rains in the central U.S. were accompanied by severe weather with over 400 preliminary tornado reports, the most since April 2011. The flooding rains and severe weather resulted in dozens of fatalities and widespread property damage.

Much of the East Coast was drier than average, despite the record high contiguous U.S. precipitation value and despite tropical storm Ana making landfall in the Carolinas early in the month. Seven states from the Southeast to New England had May precipitation totals that were much below average. No state was record dry.

According to the June 2 U.S. Drought Monitor report, 24.6 percent of the contiguous U.S. was in drought, down from 37.4 percent at the end of April and the smallest drought footprint since February 2011. Drought conditions drastically improved across the Southern Plains. Drought improvement was also observed across the Central and Northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and the Central Rockies. Drought conditions developed and worsened across parts of the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Puerto Rico. Drought conditions remained entrenched in the West.

Spring (March - May) 2015

Much of the contiguous U.S. was warmer than average during spring, except the Southern Plains and the Northeast. The Southeast and West were especially warm, where 11 states were much warmer than average. Florida had its warmest spring on record, with a temperature of 74.1 deg F, 4.6 deg F above average, and 1.1 deg F warmer than the previous record that occurred in 2012.

Similar to May, above-average spring precipitation was observed across the Central and Southern Plains. Six states were much wetter than average, including Texas which had its wettest spring on record with more than twice its average precipitation. Below-average precipitation was observed along both coasts; seven states were much drier than average.

The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (USCEI) for spring was slightly below average. On the national-scale, extremes in warm maximum and minimum temperatures and days with precipitation were much above average. The USCEI is an index that tracks extremes (falling in the upper or lower 10 percent of the record) in temperature, precipitation and drought across the contiguous U.S.

Year-to-date (January-May)

The year-to-date contiguous U.S. average temperature was 45.1 deg F, 1.8 deg F above the 20th century average, and the 17th warmest January-May on record.

Much warmer than average conditions were observed from the Rockies to the West Coast and in Florida. California was record warm for the five-month period with a temperature 5.1 deg F above average and 0.1 deg F warmer than the previous record set just last year. Below-average temperatures were observed in the Midwest and Northeast, where New York was much cooler than average. No state was record cold.

The year-to-date contiguous U.S. precipitation total was 12.91 inches, 0.52 inch above the 20th century average, and ranked among the wettest third of the historical record.

Above-average precipitation was observed across the Great Plains and the Southern Rockies, where five states were much wetter than average. Texas had its wettest year-to-date on record with 20.11 inches, 9.63 inches above average. Below-average precipitation was observed across the West and the Northeast. California had its fifth driest start to the year, while New York had its third driest. Six additional states in the Northeast were much drier than average.

The USCEI for the year-to-date was 30 percent above average and the 19th highest value on record.

Update on 2014 Billion Dollar Weather Disasters

Updating our January release on the number of billion dollar weather and climate events last year, in 2014, there were eight weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States that cumulatively caused over $17 billion in losses. This makes 2014 similar to 2013, which had nine events and over $24 billion in losses (CPI-adjusted). Since 1980, the year 2011 had the most billion-dollar events (16) while 2005 remains the most damaging year with over $200 billion in losses (CPI-adjusted).

Go here for the full NOAA rundown with graphics: http://goo.gl/…

(CZ)

Posted at 10:59AM CDT 06/09/15 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (1)
Also in the southern Plains, Kansas got into the heavy rain ledger. The Kansas state climatology office notes that May, 2015, will go down as the third wettest May since 1895, according to the Kansas Weather Data Library. Statewide average precipitation for May in Kansas was 7.73 inches, which was 188 percent of normal.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 2:29PM CDT 06/10/15
 

Friday 06/05/15

June to Be Key Month for El Nino

OMAHA (DTN) -- El Nino is in place in the equatorial Pacific, but the intensity and duration of this event have different timelines and scales, depending on the weather agency you check.

Australia's El Nino forecast calls for this event to peak in July, and not reach "strong" levels. (BOM graphic by Nick Scalise)

El Nino is an ocean and atmospheric feature in the Pacific equatorial region, characterized by above-normal ocean temperatures and a prevailing west-to-east jet stream in the subtropical latitudes. Sea surface temperatures have been consistently above normal for several months; but, during May, the atmospheric portion of El Nino, as indicated by the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), moved into the El Nino category too. This development is accorded some responsibility for the record, flooding rain that has swamped much of the Southern Plains and portions of the Midwest in recent weeks.

The questions now are: How long will El Nino continue, and how intense will this event be? DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino believes that what happens during June will determine the evolution of the 2015 El Nino.

"We have seen the SOI retreat from its very strong El Nino levels the last week or so, and this certainly bears watching," he said.

World weather forecast agencies also have differing views on the final strength and staying power of the 2015 El Nino. The U.S. forecast model features ocean temperatures continuing to warm during June into July, reaching levels not seen since an El Nino back in 2004.

The Australia forecast model, on the other hand, calls for ocean temperatures to reach their warmest levels by July, and then begin a slow but consistent leveling-off. The Australia model keeps El Nino in the "weak" to "moderate" category; the U.S. model has this year's El Nino making its way into the "moderate" to "strong" category.

In any event, both the U.S. and Australia models, with El Nino in place, are generally favorable for the summer's weather pattern, which features seasonal temperatures in most crop areas except for the Southern Plains, where the forecast trend is for below-normal values. Precipitation is expected to be above normal in the central and southern Plains, Deep South, Southeast and in the Rocky Mountains. Other major crop areas are predicted to have near-normal rainfall amounts.

The key feature of this summer forecast is the lack of widespread stress features over the U.S. corn and soybean belts.

On a world scale, one feature with El Nino is the threat of reduced production in palm oil areas of Southeast Asia. But DTN Analyst Todd Hultman has yet to see any market reaction to that possibility.

"I have not seen anything yet that says (palm oil) production is being hurt, and stocks are described as 'high,'" Hultman said.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at bryce.anderson@dtn.com

Follow Bryce Anderson on Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(AG/SK)

Posted at 3:46PM CDT 06/05/15 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (1)
The Australia SOI calculations for Monday June 8 2015 do indicate some easing in El Nino intensity. The 30-day average is -8.87; 90-day -8.34; with the daily calculation at +8.93.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 5:28AM CDT 06/08/15
 

Thursday 06/04/15

Dryness Slows Early Crop Development on Canada's Prairies

Rainfall patterns across Alberta and Saskatchewan have been stingy at best so far during this growing season and the dry conditions are now starting to increasingly affect emerging and developing crops. Increasing coverage of dry soil moisture conditions are slowing crop development after seeding operations got off to the best start in a decade or more in many areas.

Precipitation compared to historical distribution for the Canadian Prairies from April 1 to May 25 shows dryness issues, including record dry spots in Alberta and Saskatchewan. (Graphic courtesy of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Seeding is pretty much complete across all three Prairie provinces. The issue of getting the seeds into the ground has shifted to the issue of germination and development. Manitoba remains in the best shape moisture-wise with southeast areas still too wet, while dry weather is starting to affect western parts of the province.

Since April 1, some areas of southeastern Alberta reached record levels with respect to the lack of precipitation, while a large portion of southern Alberta and western Saskatchewan are now classified in the extremely low category for spring precipitation. While most areas are too dry, we continue to see a wide range of rainfall distribution with the Peace River area still too wet, as well as a couple of small pockets through west-central Saskatchewan.

Cold weather and frost from two late-season cold snaps late last month did do some damage to oilseeds across all three provinces and forced farmers to do some reseeding. Upcoming weather patterns during the next few weeks do not imply any more temperatures low enough to do further damage.

Rainfall potential is more problematic during the next 10 days. A jet stream flowing from west to east across southwest Canada is expected to continue into the middle of June, which is not out of the ordinary for this time of year. What seems to be lacking is enough moisture with any fronts crossing the area to produce more than a few widely-scattered showers.

Another problem that could arise early next week is an increase in temperature to high levels for some portions of southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan as hot weather across the U.S. Pacific Northwest bubbles northward for a time. Added hot weather without rain across areas that are already too dry is not a good recipe for emerging and developing crops.

The upcoming weather pattern appears to be one that might produce a little more rain for Manitoba, the area that needs it the least. There are some indications that an increase in wet weather potential for all of the Prairies might come about after we go through next week. Some of the model forecasts show a southward shift in the position of the jet stream which would track low pressure areas along the U.S./Canadian border in a fashion to better produce some rain.

The increasing coverage of short soil moisture conditions during the next week is sure to further affect crop development, but June and July are the two wettest months of the year across the Prairies by average so we can hope that sooner, not later, some beneficial rains come to the dry areas of Western Canada.

Doug Webster can be reached at doug.webster@dtn.com

(ES)

Posted at 10:44AM CDT 06/04/15 by Doug Webster
 

Wednesday 06/03/15

The Southwest Monsoon Today

The India Meteorological Department has issued its update as it concerns the forecast for the 2015 rainy season, June through August, for the region. They continue to call for below normal rainfall during the Monsoon season. This is due mainly to the developing El Nino in the Pacific, among other factors. The most significant departures from normal look to be over northwest India. This is typical for seasons when rainfall is deficient. This usually results from the Monsoon reaching the area late and then departing early. Typically the Monsoon rains become established over northwest India and Pakistan during the last part of June or early in July. Until that time the area can expect to see hot temperatures and only occasional periods of pre monsoon type showers.

The weather patterns during May featured extreme heat waves over many areas of India with the southeast areas the hardest hit. Normally the Indian subcontinent heats up during May as the ridge builds prior to the onset of the southwest Monsoon. The rains develop as the ridge shifts north and then northwest with time. Rain arrives first in southern and northeast India and then the rain advances towards the northwest. Reports suggest that the extreme heat came on rather suddenly and has stayed longer than is normal. As of June 3rd the leading edge of the Monsoon trough was still located over southern Sri Lanka.

Crops impacted from a poor or failed Monsoon would include soybeans, rice, cotton and groundnuts among others. India also has winter wheat and winter rapeseed crops grown in the north and northwest but these will not be planted until well after the rainy season ends late this year.

The current satellite pictures show increasing shower and rain activity over the northwest Indian Ocean and the southern Arabian Sea. We note decreasing clouds and rain through the northeast Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal at this time. There is a minor upper level trough in the northwest that is causing a few light pre monsoon showers but little is occurring elsewhere in the region. The computer models are forecasting the development of a disturbance in the southern Arabian Sea within the next 1-3 days. This system then is shown moving northward during the weekend and early next week. This is highly unusual for the early Monsoon and is considered suspect. However, if it were to occur this could cause a few problems for the Monsoon development. First it may help move the leading edge of the Monsoon northward which would be a favorable turn of events. However, systems such as these have a habit of pulling much of the available moisture away from the south India region. This could cause a break in the action and extend the dryness and heat concerns even longer than currently indicated. In either case, it will be a system worth watching over the next few days.

Posted at 10:08AM CDT 06/03/15 by Joel Burgio
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