Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst

Friday 11/27/15

Corn Belt 2016 Moisture Supplies Increase

One of the defining setup features of the major Corn Belt drought in 2012 was a dry season all the way through fall 2011. You may recall that the fall 2011 harvest time frame had a run of stories, articles, video and photos of combine fires started by extremely dry crop plants and very dry air sparking these conflagrations at a moment's notice. Winter was dry as well. When the rains came, they eluded the southern two-thirds of the Corn Belt, and the result was a dramatic reduction in yields. Did the dry fall of 2011 directly cause the big drought the following year? No -- but it contributed to the more-favorable scenario for this event.

A large majority of the central U.S. crop belt has taken in above to much above normal precipitation during November. (Midwest Climate Center graphic by Scott Kemper)

That brings us to the fall of 2015, which, after a warm and dry September and October, evolved into a wet November over much of the central U.S. Information catalogued by the Midwest Regional Climate Center in Urbana, Illinois shows that only the northwestern Plains and the eastern third of the Midwest have seen below to much below normal precipitation. Just about everywhere else, the moisture has been above to much above normal, notably in a swath from western Kansas northeast to central Minnesota with 200 to 300 percent of normal precipitation. The week of November 16-22 alone was an eventful period with the heaviest snow in almost 25 years in Iowa. The state also had average precipitation of 1.79 inches, or four times the weekly normal of .45 inches. And, the November 16-22 week was the wettest week in 13 weeks -- since mid-August.

There is a big difference in Pacific Ocean conditions between the fall of 2015 and the fall of 2011 as well: in 2015 the Pacific is still in a strong El Nino temperature and pressure configuration; in 2011, the Pacific was still in a very strong La Nina. We have seen again this year that El Nino is, overall, a favorable event for U.S. row crop production. La Nina is unfavorable for U.S. production. And, the soil moisture boost that we are seeing now is promising for offering crops a reserve for next season.


Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 12:45PM CST 11/27/15 by Bryce Anderson

Wednesday 11/25/15

Pacific Flow Brings Mild Pattern Back to W. Canada

During the past week or so, western and central Canada saw some wintry weather featuring some snow and colder weather. This winter preview was brought about by a ridge through the Gulf of Alaska that was able to help induce some cold air across northwest Canada.

Environment Canada shows snow cover across Canada as of early Nov. 25, with the southern extent quite close to what is expected for late November. (Chart courtesy of Environment Canada)

Longer-range models had been onto this idea for the third week of November as far back as the very beginning of the month and did a decent job of forecasting the colder, snowier scenario. These same models also have been telling us that mild Pacific air would return to Western Canada before November came to an end, as the ridge breaks down and allows the main polar jet stream to move from west to east once again.

As we move into the last few days of November, we are indeed seeing an end of the briefly colder, snowier pattern as westerly winds are about to take hold. This will send temperatures to above and even well above normal levels by this weekend and at least well into next week.

The thin snow cover that has developed across Western Canada recently is likely to be trimmed back some as mild weather takes hold. The accompanying chart provided by Environment Canada shows this morning's snow cover across Canada, with the southern extent quite close to what we would expect for late November.

Temperatures are increasing significantly during the coming days, and we are also likely to see generally sunny, dry weather to go along with the milder weather. The westerly flow moving over the Rockies will slope down onto the Prairies and bring dry conditions; this will at times produce the familiar Chinook wind.

The upcoming weather pattern is quite consistent with what we would expect during a strong El Nino, like we currently have. Canada has a high chance of having above-normal temperatures during an El Nino and all of our computer guidance continues to show this during the next several weeks. To go along with the warmth there is likely to be less-than-average precipitation.

While the average temperature through the end of the year may be above normal, there will always be short periods of colder weather with some snow that come along that we are not able to forecast until several days in advance.

Doug Webster can be reached at


Posted at 9:59AM CST 11/25/15 by Doug Webster

Tuesday 11/24/15

Strong El Nino Still in Place

Following are some highlights of the Australia Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) latest analysis of the Pacific Ocean temperature pattern that continues to point to El Nino well into the first few months of 2016. -- Bryce

Very warm Pacific Ocean equatorial temperatures remain in place driving the forecast for El Nino to continue until at least March. (Australia Bureau of Meteorology graphic by Nick Scalise)

"A strong El Nino persists in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The event is comparable to the record events of 1997–98 and 1982–83. International climate models suggest that El Nino SSTs are approaching their peak, and will decrease in the first quarter of 2016. With such warm SSTs, models suggest the tropical Pacific is unlikely to return to neutral until at least (Southern Hemisphere) autumn 2016, although impacts on Australian climate are likely to decline prior to this." (BA note: Southern Hemisphere autumn equals Northern Hemisphere spring.)


"Compared to two weeks ago, warm sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies have increased in parts of the eastern equatorial Pacific and decreased across the northeast of the (Pacific) basin and over the western equatorial Pacific (west of the International Date Line). Cool anomalies have dissipated across the Indonesian archipelago and waters to Australia's north.

"Anomalies for the week ending 22 November exceeded plus 2 degrees Celsius across nearly the entire equatorial Pacific east of the Date Line, with some areas exceeding plus 3 degrees C. Warm anomalies are present along most of the equator in the Pacific, extending from the South American coastline to about 160 degrees East."


"The SST anomaly map for October 2015 shows warm SST anomalies extended across the equatorial Pacific from the South American coastline to about 165 degrees East and also across much of the east and far north of the basin in the Northern Hemisphere.

Compared to September, warm anomalies have increased along the equator and to Australia's southeast and west, but have decreased north of the equator in the central Pacific. Cool anomalies have increased across the Indonesian archipelago and waters to Australia's north. Moderate to strong warm anomalies persist across much of the Indian Ocean.

"All of NINO3 (east-central Pacific), NINO3.4 (central Pacific) and NINO4 (west-central Pacific) continued to warm, reaching anomalies of plus 2.3 degrees C, plus 2.4 degrees C, and plus 1.7 degrees C respectively for October 2015. The NINO4 region has been unusually warm, with each month since February the warmest since records began in 1981." (BA note: The sectors described are along the equator -- not the entire Pacific Ocean.)

"NINO3.4 still remains behind the peak monthly anomaly value reached during either 1982 or 1997 (plus 2.8 degrees C and plus 2.7 degrees C respectively). Note: peak values are typically recorded late in the year.

"Warm anomalies also remain across much of the Pacific Ocean in the Northern Hemisphere east of the Date Line."


Posted at 4:14PM CST 11/24/15 by Bryce Anderson

Monday 11/23/15

Wide Variety In Brazil Rain

A rundown of rainfall totals logged by my colleague Joel Burgio shows a wide variance indeed on rainfall in the major Brazil row crop areas. A slow start to the subtropical rainy season is a big reason why Brazil soybean planting at the end of last week was only 70 percent completed--the slowest pace since 2007.

Only southern Brazil (in blue) has had above-normal rainfall during November. Top soybean-growing state, Mato Grosso, has had mostly less than half its normal rainfall.(USDA graphic by Nick Scalise)

Here's how the station totals play out for rain since September 1, 2015

Station Total (inches) Normal Pct Normal


Goiania 9.31 14.17 66

Catalao 13.79 14.33 96

State Average 11.55 14.25 81


Diamantino 15.74 11.53 137

Cuiaba 2.12 11.53 18

State Average 8.93 11.53 77


Campo Grande 12.53 10.93 115

Ivinheima 17.48 10.93 160

State Average 15.01 10.93 137


Londrina 22.67 15.83 143

Campo Mourao 30.65 14.64 209

Foz do Iguacu 12.88 13.45 96

Irati 25.95 16.73 155

Curitiba 17.76 13.79 129

State Average 21.81 14.66 147


Irai 21.77 14.67 148

Campos Novos 35.74 13.74 260

State Average 28.76 14.21 204


S.Luis Gonzaga 25.64 15.12 170

Passo Fundo 24.07 14.49 166

Bom Jesus 31.44 14.33 219

Santa Maria 29.93 13.38 224

Encruzilha 24.14 12.00 201

State Average 27.04 13.86 196


Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 2:38PM CST 11/23/15 by Bryce Anderson

Friday 11/20/15

Snow Brings Slight Western Drought Easing

Following are highlights from the Drought Monitor summaries for the Far West and Northwest -- where much attention is being paid to the chance for drought easing this winter. -- Bryce

The current snow water equivalent percent of median map shows many areas with significantly above normal snowpack for this point in the season. (NRCS graphic by Nick Scalise)

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

FAR WEST -- The northern coast of California and the Sierra Nevada received half an inch to an inch of precipitation this week from Pacific systems. While the precipitation was beneficial to surface soil moisture, it had no effect on the long-term hydrological situation. In some areas, river base flows have not increased and groundwater and reservoir levels have not rebounded. Additionally, a well recently went dry in Cazadero (Sonoma County) in one of the typically more wet environments of northern California (coastal redwood forest). According to media reports, as of November 12, of 125 recreational lakes in California, 33 lakes held less than 25 percent of capacity, 19 of the 33 lakes held less than 10 percent of capacity and four lakes were empty. As noted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California statewide reservoir statistics (from the California Department of Water Resources/CDEC), updated through the end of October, show that this year's preliminary reservoir withdrawal stands at 6.92 million acre-feet (from a peak of 18.08 maf on March 31 to a probable minimum of 11.16 maf on October 31). This is just 84% of the historical average. Conservation is working, but storage is still precariously low, at second-lowest on record for this time of year, ahead of only 7.53 maf on October 31, 1977.

NORTHWEST -- Most days this week saw a continuation of the barrage of Pacific moisture and storm systems into Washington and northern Oregon. The frontal rains and upslope enhancement wrung out 6-plus inches of precipitation over a widespread area west of the Cascades. Precipitation totals for November 11-17 from observation stations in Washington included 20.79 inches at Quinault, 14.31 inches at Elma, and 13.03 inches at Olympia. Several other stations in western Washington reported over 8 inches of precipitation. Normals here this time of year can range up to 3 to 5 inches a week, so the precipitation that fell was 2 to 4 times the weekly normal. The rainfall raised streamflows and increased soil moisture, with some high elevation stations recording an increase of snowpack, up to 1 to 2 feet of new snow at some stations.

In Oregon, long-term precipitation deficits remained even with these last few storms, streamflows have been slow to respond, and reservoirs were near empty (the Willamette is well into conservation storage). It will take many more storms, with the accumulation of a thick winter mountain snowpack, to refill the reservoirs during the spring melt season.

With a westerly circulation, the air masses dried out as they crested the Cascades, so central and eastern portions of Washington and Oregon received only a few tenths of an inch of precipitation at best. Parts of the Rockies in northern Idaho and northwest Montana received half an inch or more of precipitation, which helped increase the snowpack at some high-elevation stations, but snow depth reports were only a few inches to a foot at most stations. Precipitation amounts declined to the east and south, with parts of northern Wyoming and southeast Montana receiving less than a tenth of an inch or no moisture.


Posted at 4:02PM CST 11/20/15 by Bryce Anderson

Wednesday 11/18/15

Earth Was Again Warmer In October

Following are highlights of the NOAA State of the Climate Report for October 2015. And, in accordance with the way the rest of the year has gone, a new record-warm entry is in the books. October 2015 was the warmest on record for Planet Earth--and October 2015 also had the greatest above-average departure from average for any month. The year 2015 overall also continues to be a record-warm year.

Large areas of the earth--both land and water--had record warmest conditions during October 2015. (NOAA graphic by Nick Scalise)

This trend is especially noteworthy after a review of a feature article in "Weatherwise" magazine from July-August 2010. In an article titled "Global Cooling: Science and Myth", a comment from one of the longest-running general-interest publications was quoted with this phrase: "...a cold, not warm, climate may be in our future." That is certainly not the case five years later.

Here is the summary of the NOAA report. A link to the full report is at the end of the summary.--Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Global Summary Information - October 2015

October 2015 was warmest on record for the globe and greatest above-average departure from average for any month

Year-to-date also continues to be record warm

Global highlights: October 2015

The October average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.76 degrees Fahrenheit (0.98 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October on record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.36 deg F (0.20 deg C), and marked the sixth consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken. This record departure from average was also the highest on record for any month, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.13 deg F (0.07 deg C).

The October globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.39 deg F (1.33 deg C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October in the 1880--2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in October 2011 by 0.31 deg F (0.17 deg C).

The October globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.53 deg F (0.85 deg C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest temperature for October in the 1880--2015 record surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.27 deg F (0.15 deg C). This was also the highest departure from average for any of the 1630 months of recordkeeping, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.07 deg F (0.04 deg C).

The average Arctic sea ice extent for October 2015 was 460,000 square miles (13.4 percent) below the 1981--2010 average. This was the sixth smallest October extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.

Antarctic sea ice extent during October 2015 was 90,000 square miles (1.3 percent) below the 1981--2010 average. This was the 14th largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record. On October 6th, the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its annual maximum extent at 7.24 million square miles, slightly above average and in contrast to the past three years when record large maximum sea ice extents were observed.

According to data from NOAA analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during October was 1.49 million square miles above the 1981--2010 average and the seventh largest in the 48-year period of record. Eurasia had its sixth largest October snow cover extent, while North America had its 11th largest.

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January--October 2015)

The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.55 deg F (0.86 deg C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January--October in the 1880--2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by 0.22 deg F (0.12 deg C). Eight of the first ten months in 2015 have been record warm for their respective months.

The year-to-date globally-averaged land surface temperature was also the highest for January--October in the 1880--2015 record at 2.30 deg F (1.28 deg C) above the 20th century average. This value surpassed the previous record of 2007 by 0.31 deg F (0.17 deg C).

The year-to-date globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.28 deg F (0.71 deg C) above the 20th century average and the highest for January--October in the 1880--2015 record. This value surpassed the previous record of 2014 by +0.14 deg F (+0.08 deg C).

For extended analysis of global temperature and precipitation patterns, please see our full October report.…


Posted at 3:33PM CST 11/18/15 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (2)
Clarification: the comment about a cooling trend did not originate from NOAA.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 5:01PM CST 11/18/15
Now Bryce, temperatures were much higher during the Triassic period, proof that global warming is not new!!!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 10:04PM CST 11/18/15

Monday 11/16/15

Scientists: Effects of Warming Arctic on Corn Belt Weather Unexpected

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Many scientists believe Arctic warming and loss of sea ice in part led to last winter's so-called Polar Vortex and weather patterns responsible for dumping record amounts of snowfall in the Northeastern United States.

Though climate models predicted Corn Belt regions would become hotter and drier, in the early 21th century, the climate became "more favorable for corn production in the middle latitudes, and it has become wetter," Marty Hoerling, a climate scientist with the physical sciences division at NOAA, said. (DTN file photo by Elaine Shein)

Two scientists said during a University of Nebraska workshop Tuesday on the Arctic melting that those changes so far have had little effect on Corn Belt agriculture. As the climate has warmed, they said, Midwest agriculture has benefitted.

Climate researchers presenting at the Nebraska Innovation Campus say they have been surprised Corn Belt weather has not reacted to what they say is a warming planet and subsequent harm to yields. In fact, if anything, they said any change in climate has resulted in milder and wetter Corn Belt summers -- both of which are beneficial to crop yields, especially corn.

Marty Hoerling, a climate scientist with the physical sciences division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, based in Boulder, Colorado, said although there is no reliable ground-level temperature data in the Arctic, overall warming is "affecting a larger surface warming of the Arctic than the rest of the world, and that has accelerated because sea ice is melting."

Models and available data on the ice melt show Arctic ice decline in the late-summer months is averaging about 13% per decade, Hoerling said, estimating more than 50% of that is human-caused.

"Probably not all we're seeing is human induced," he said, attributing much of the melting to "natural variability" which he says still "rules the roost."

What's more, Hoerling said, potential weather links to "Arctic amplification" in the middle latitudes including the Corn Belt is "weak."

Hoerling said Arctic temperatures have averaged 1 degree to 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer between 1980 and 2010. "The pace is much more dramatic at this time," he said.

Though climate models predicted the Corn Belt regions would become hotter and drier, Hoerling said that in the early 21st century, the climate became "more favorable for corn production in the middle latitudes, and it has become wetter.

"It looks like nothing like the story we hear," Hoerling said. "It has been a climate surprise."


Judah Cohen, principal scientist for the Climate Analysis Group in Newton, Massachusetts, said last year's record snowfall in the Northeast likely is caused by warming in the Arctic. Snow cover has been on the increase since 1988, he said, while Arctic ice has been decreasing since 1998.

"The snow cover is unexpected," Cohen said, based on climate models predicting changes in climate. "Last year was the highest snow cover on record for the Northern Hemisphere. It is especially surprising and not expected. When I was in graduate school, we thought snow cover would have been on a death spiral -- very unexpected."

What has occurred in the middle latitudes, including Corn Belt states, he said, is milder winters have become more common as the Arctic warms from October to March. "We tend to get more extreme weather in mid-latitudes," Cohen said.

Those events include more frequent heavy rain events in the Midwest.

Cohen said the unexpected effects of a changing climate mean scientists need to better hone scientific models and expand research.

"I think there are things we don't understand," he said. "We've reached a temperature where snow should be slowing and it's not."


Jerry Hatfield, research plant physiologist at the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment at the USDA's Agriculture Research Center in Ames, Iowa, said farmers can best prepare for expected wide weather variability by taking steps to improve soil.

Healthy soils will allow for better drainage following heavy rain events, he said. If northern areas of the Corn Belt become warmer, Hatfield said, it means more corn acres will be planted to poorer soils.

"We're back in a period of great uncertainty in corn and soybeans," he said.

"When it rains, it pours. Average precipitation is going up. Days of heavy precipitation are going up. The function of the soil is to infiltrate water. The higher the temps, yields come down because of water stress. These are all changing pieces of the puzzle.

"Producers are becoming increasingly concerned about variability of production and whether they can make a profit. We see questions asked, 'how am I going to cope with changes?' What we see is lower yields, and risk of crop failure gets larger and larger."

When it comes to many areas of Iowa in particular, Hatfield said he has worked to educate producers on how seasonal variability affects the way their soil performs.

"They manage their fields as if they have high-quality fields," he said. "We've had to show them soil behaves differently relative to seasonal weather."

If Corn Belt temperatures rise, many producers will be shifting acres into lower-quality soils, Hatfield said. He said higher variability in weather conditions already has affected the cost of doing business.

For example, when it comes to crop insurance claims on corn in the Midwest, Hatfield said 55% of those claims are related to excess moisture and drought. Since 1989, he said, there has been some $12 billion in claims paid out as a result.

"These are in our realm to change," he said.

This past year, Hatfield said, some parts of Iowa lost some 100 tons of soil per acre to erosion. Though it runs contrary to what many farmers in Iowa have done for ages, he said producers need to begin to look past traditional corn-soybean rotations.

"If we want a more resilient system, we need to be more diverse in crops," Hatfield said. "That flies in the face of what we're doing."

Todd Neeley can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @ToddNeeleyDTN


Posted at 6:39AM CST 11/16/15 by Todd Neeley
Comments (7)
Thanks much to Todd Neeley for his coverage of this workshop.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 9:39AM CST 11/16/15
This article was a load of uncomprehendable balony. As does every article I have ever read about "global warming, climate change", blah, blah blah ad nauseum.
Posted by JEFF RIDDER at 4:27PM CST 11/16/15
In Iowa we're raising the corn suitability ratings on most soils because increased rainfall during the growing season reduces the need for the soil to hold moisture. Also, we're seeing a shift to more fuller season hybrids which will make use of additional heat units for added yields.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 6:21AM CST 11/17/15
I believe this is the first time I have seen a climate change scientist tell the truth. "I think there are things we don't understand," he said. "We've reached a temperature where snow should be slowing and it's not." I also think there are things no one understands... let alone can predict. I am tired of hearing predictions, which by definition are just estimates/guesses, and the next person trying to implement rules based on these not facts.
Posted by NATHAN CHESTER at 9:28AM CST 11/18/15
The caption under the photo reads in part: Though climate models predicted Corn Belt regions would become hotter and drier, in the early 20th century, the climate became "more favorable for corn production in the middle latitudes, and it has become wetter," Marty Hoerling...said. In the blog text it reads: Though climate models predicted the Corn Belt regions would become hotter and drier, Hoerling said that in the early 21st century, the climate became "more favorable for corn production in the middle latitudes, and it has become wetter. "It looks like nothing like the story we hear," Hoerling said. I am assuming they had climate models in the late nineteenth century or are the climate scientists using present day models to verify their rectroactive forcast skill?
Posted by Lonnie Leake at 11:11AM CST 11/18/15
There was a typo there--the photo comment should also read "...21st century". We'll correct that.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 2:24PM CST 11/18/15
Also--we will have some interesting climate change discussion at the DTN/Progressive Farmer Ag Summit in early December--featuring my colleague Jim Block, Schneider Electric chief meteorologist. Go to to register.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 2:31PM CST 11/18/15

Thursday 11/12/15

Winter Mostly Elusive for W. Canada

Temperatures have been dropping some and a patchy thin snow cover has been increasing across Western Canada during the past week, but so far November temperatures are still averaging several degrees warmer than normal. Winter weather is likely to be elusive for Western Canada during the next week or so, but there continue to be signs that a period of cold and snow might visit the Prairies later in the third week of November.

The monthly mean temperature difference from normal for the Canadian Prairies shows that October was a few degrees higher than usual. (Graphic from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

The accompanying chart of October temperatures provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada shows widespread mild weather for the Prairies. By the time November wraps up we expect to see a similar temperature pattern even with the potential cold snap we expect for a few days in about 10 days.

Much of Canada remains on the mild side of normal due to the effects of the strong El Nino and the influx of Pacific air from west to east across the nation. This is a pattern quite typical of an El Nino, but there can be interruptions in the pattern occasionally.

Many of our computer models have been keying in to a turn to very low temperatures across Alaska during next week and the models continue to imply that arctic air will indeed develop from Alaska into the Yukon by this time a week from now. For a brief period, most guidance is showing a burst of this cold sliding southeastward into Western Canada as enough of a ridge develops across the Gulf of Alaska during the Nov. 20 to 23 period.

Does this mean a major pattern shift and the arrival of wintry cold and snow? Most likely not, since most all models bring back the flow of modifying Pacific air quite quickly later this month. The return of milder weather following the brief cold punch is why we feel November's temperature departure chart will look quite similar to October's.

The December outlook continues to strongly imply milder-than-normal weather across nearly all of Canada, but we can never rule out one or two brief surges of very cold weather. The reason being that the atmosphere usually undergoes brief breakdowns during an otherwise mostly stable pattern during most years and while the average of a month may be mild, a couple of brief periods of cold and snow can still take place.

Doug Webster can be reached at


Posted at 10:25AM CST 11/12/15 by Doug Webster

Tuesday 11/10/15

Extreme Weather Scorecard

The following summary of a NOAA report on extreme weather events in 2014 highlights what happened along with whether or not human-induced atmospheric warming due to greenhouse gas emission and land use was noticeable. Not all occurrences were assessed as displaying that influence--but just over half of them were.--Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Human activities, such as greenhouse gas emissions and land use, influenced specific extreme weather and climate events in 2014, including tropical cyclones in the central Pacific, heavy rainfall in Europe, drought in East Africa, and stifling heat waves in Australia, Asia, and South America, according to a new report...The report, “Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective” published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, addresses the natural and human causes of individual extreme events from around the world in 2014, including Antarctica. NOAA scientists served as three of the five lead editors on the report.

In this year’s report, 32 groups of scientists from around the world investigate 28 individual extreme events in 2014 and break out various factors that led to the extreme events, including the degree to which natural variability and human-induced climate change played a role. When human influence for an event cannot be conclusively identified with the scientific tools available today, this means that if there is a human contribution, it cannot be distinguished from natural climate variability.

The report this year added analysis on new types of events including wildfires and Antarctic sea ice extent, and in one case looked at how land use patterns may influence the impacts and severity from precipitation.

Key findings for each of the assessed events include:

North America:

Overall probability of California wildfires has increased due to human-induced climate change, however, no specific link could be made for the 2014 fire event.

Though cold winters still occur in the upper Midwest, they are less likely due to climate change.

Cold temperatures along the eastern U.S. were not influenced by climate change, and eastern U.S. winter temperatures are becoming less variable.

Tropical cyclones that hit Hawaii were substantially more likely because of human-induced climate change.

Extreme 2013-14 winter storm season over much of North America was driven mainly by natural variability and not human caused climate change.

Human-induced climate change and land-use both played a role in the flooding that occurred in the southeastern Canadian Prairies.

Around the World:

South America

The Argentinean heat wave of December 2013 was made five times more likely because of human-induced climate change.

Water shortages in Southeast Brazil were not found to be largely influenced by climate change, but increasing population and water consumption raised vulnerability.


All-time record number of storms over the British Isles in winter 2013-14 cannot be linked directly to human-induced warming of the tropical west Pacific.

Extreme rainfall in the United Kingdom during the winter of 2013-2014 was not linked to human-caused climate change.

Hurricane Gonzolo was within historical range of strength for hurricanes transitioning to extratropical storms over Europe.

Extreme rainfall in southern France was three times more likely than in 1950 due to climate change.

Human influence increased the probability of record annual mean warmth over Europe, NE Pacific, and NW Atlantic.

Middle East and Africa

Two studies showed that the drought in East Africa was made more severe because of climate change.

The role of climate change in the Middle East drought of 2014 remains unclear. One study showed a role in the southern Levant region of Syria, while another study, which looked more broadly at the Middle East, did not find a climate change influence.


Extreme heat events in Korea and China were linked to human-caused climate change.

Drought in northeastern Asia, China and Singapore could not conclusively be linked to climate change.

The high west Pacific tropical cyclone activity in 2014 was largely driven by natural variability.

Devastating 2014 floods in Jakarta are becoming more likely due to climate change and other human influences.

Meteorological drivers that led to the extreme Himalayan snowstorm of 2014 have increased in likelihood due to climate change.

Human influence increased the probability of regional high sea surface temperature extremes over the western tropical and northeast Pacific Ocean during 2014.


Four independent studies all pointed toward human influence causing a substantial increase in the likelihood and severity of heat waves across Australia in 2014.

It is likely that human influences on climate increased the odds of the extreme high pressure anomalies south of Australia in August 2014 that were associated with frosts, lowland snowfalls and reduced rainfall.

The risk of an extreme five-day July rainfall event over Northland, New Zealand, such as was observed in early July 2014, has likely increased due to human influences on climate.


All-time maximum of Antarctic sea ice in 2014 resulted chiefly from anomalous winds that transported cold air masses away from the Antarctic continent, enhancing thermodynamic sea ice production far offshore. This type of event is becoming less likely because of climate change.

The full report is at this link:…


Posted at 9:27AM CST 11/10/15 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (9)
Wonder if we will get a break from this kind of irrational science when Obama blessedly leaves office? Hope so!
Posted by BD, NE LA. at 6:58PM CST 11/10/15
I get so sick and tired of having disasters crammed down my throat as if there are no benefits from climate change, anthropogenic or otherwise. But at least this article is no where as STUPID as the EPA's social media event last Feb. (when Boston was setting record snowfall) that claimed we must stop climate change so our Olympic athletes will have snow to practice on. But I expect the EPA's stupidity to be exceeded, soon!
Posted by Curt Zingula at 6:03AM CST 11/11/15
This kind of stupid stuff is where Trump gets his support from... I think it is part of a liberal stupid test... Liberals act smart by making up parameters that define what climate change is, and make up links to weather events, and then have guys like Bruce run their STUPID TESTS to see how many people buy into it!!!
Posted by bbob at 6:25AM CST 11/11/15
Thank you Bryce for your scientifically accurate reports on the climate. It is strange to live in the modern world and still have large groups of people not accept reality especially such a simple reality of climate change which can be recorded by thermometers and carbon concentrations in the atmosphere. Historians will look back on this era in disbelief that not only people denied climate change but believed that the pyramids in Egypt were built to store grain. Future scientists I am sure will be wondering why an entire section of society broke away into a fantasy land thought pattern despite the facts were in their face. Maybe it is our diet, possibly the effects from lead paint? However the future scientists will read reports like the one above and realize that some people recorded "just the facts" and understood the relationship of human activity and its implication in the climate.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 6:31AM CST 11/11/15
In the not to distant future, liberals will look back upon the deal Obama struck with the Chinese for carbon emissions and say why the heck did we support a dumb a_ _ that allowed them to double emissions by the year 2030 before cutting back? That would be the few liberals that have a spark of common sense and honesty. The little amount of carbon sequestration that B.O. will limit in the U.S. compared to China's output is like spitting into the wind.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 6:51AM CST 11/12/15
I have to agree with Curt's last comment. China is clearly a major problem. I doubt the US at it's worst was anywhere close to China's pollution. A recent article noted that Chinese coal use is probably 15% higher than previous reports. Many of these weather events referenced above have their origin in the Pacific Ocean. If you have ever seen that big smog cloud moving out over the Pacific Ocean from China, it is hard to believe that hasn't had an affect on trapping heat and creating problems with Pacific Ocean characteristics. By the way, India isn't a saint either. Paul Overby
Posted by LeeFarms at 8:48AM CST 11/12/15
You made sure the Antarctica information was at the very end of the summary of a NOAA report. I suppose they think people wont read the whole thing. You would think All-time maximum of Antarctic sea ice in 2014 would be the headline.
Posted by Unknown at 10:19AM CST 11/12/15
Thanks, Bryce, for giving us this information that we may otherwise not see when you know you're going to catch some flak. While its hard to argue with the science of the climate change debate, a quick read across DTN shows that science is a moving target in some cases. Apparently glyphosate causes cancer here in the U.S. but not in Europe. John Harrington's article about dietary fat shows how hard it is to predict the future. Maybe some day common sense will win out over politics.
Posted by TOM DRAPER at 7:43AM CST 11/13/15
Everything is due to climate change. Every time I read articles like this, they make it sound like we never had issues with weather before 1988. I never had issues with weather before 1977. That was when I was born.
Posted by NATHAN CHESTER at 9:43AM CST 11/18/15

Friday 11/06/15

Snow Visits Far West

To end a drought, you’ve got to start with some moisture sometime. And hopes are that lower-elevation rain and mountain snow in the western rim of the U.S. during early November will get the ball rolling. Following is the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service weekly description of what went on in the Far West and Northwest.

For the first time in a long time, a healthy round of snow decorated Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Yosemite Conservancy)

The current snow water equivalent percent of median map shows a few areas where snow has begun its winter accumulation. These areas include a few sites in the Cascades in Oregon and Washington, the Sierra in California, and the Rockies in Idaho, Montana, and Colorado. The actual amounts, however, are still small -- generally 2 inches or less.

The 7-day precipitation percent of average map shows many areas of significant precipitation throughout the West. Only a few areas in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and eastern Oregon received less than average precipitation during the week.

The total precipitation map shows many areas of 1 to 4 inches throughout the West. Most notable, however, are the Cascades of Washington and Oregon, where precipitation of 5 to 12 inches fell during the week.

For the 2016 Water Year that began on October 1, 2015, many areas are getting a good start on precipitation accumulation, with near or above average amounts. Areas not following this pattern include southeastern Oregon, eastern Wyoming, and northern Utah.

The Los Angeles Times sounded a very hopeful note as well. “An omen? A godsend? Describe it as you like, but it’s shaping up to be a November to remember for California ski resorts, at least two of which are opening early after recent storms.”

The western U.S., of course, needs all the precipitation it can get. Here’s how the U.S. Drought Monitor assessment for the region was worded for the week ending Tuesday November 3:

“An early-season, moisture-laden Pacific storm system brought beneficial precipitation (including snows to higher elevations) to extreme northwestern and central California, including 2-3.5 inches of precipitation to the Sierra Nevada and northeastward across west-central and northeastern Nevada. The precipitation (and snow) was an early bonus to the 2015-16 Water Year in the Sierras, but with 4 consecutive years of drought, this precipitation was just a start to moisten the soils for hopefully more (frozen preferred) precipitation this winter, thus no changes were made in the Sierras. However, according to the NRCS Snotel sites, it was refreshing to see the Sierra average basins water year to date (WYTD since Oct. 1) precipitation and snow water content at 152-170 percent of normal and 608-1150 percent of normal, respectively, as of Nov. 3, but one must remember that normals are quite small early in the Water Year, so huge percentages can occur with a wet start (but better wet than dry).”

Precipitation follow-up will be closely watched as fall gives way to winter to see if there is truly a buildup in the Far West moisture supply.

Twitter @BAndersonDTN


Posted at 3:51PM CST 11/06/15 by Bryce Anderson

Thursday 11/05/15

Mild Weather Returns to Prairies

Modified polar air made a visit to Western Canada during the first few days of November to bring most areas a taste of a little snow and the coldest readings of the season to date. Compared to what we can see at this time of year, the chillier weather was not anything to write home about.

The accompanying snow chart shows last night's snow cover across Canada; the dotted line is where snow cover usually is as an average by this date. One can see that only a thin cover exists across the northern Prairies, while we typically see snow cover all the way southward to near the U.S. border across Saskatchewan and Manitoba by this time. (Chart courtesy of Environment Canada)

A strong El Nino remains a major player in the overall weather pattern across the Pacific and North America and probably took the edge off the recent cool spell. Cold air has had trouble accumulating across Canada thus far due to the El Nino as Pacific air has been moving from west to east keeping mostly moderate weather in place and delaying the southward push of snow cover.

The accompanying snow chart shows last night's snow cover across Canada, with the dotted line being where snow cover usually is as an average by this date. One can see that only a thin cover exists across the northern Prairies, while we typically see snow cover all the way southward to near the U.S. border across Saskatchewan and Manitoba by this time.

Snow cover helps cold air develop at this time of year and the lack of snow coupled with the mild flow from the Pacific keeps the cold air making machine out of the picture for now. While it might appear winter was about to take hold during the past few days, we are more likely to see rather mild weather return this weekend.

The overall weather pattern continues to favor fairly long episodes of mild weather and much shorter periods of colder weather during the next 10 days. We will have to keep an eye on things for the third week of the month as it appears Alaska will turn much colder in about one week and some of this cold air could make its way southeast into Western Canada around the third week in November. This is by no means a sure bet.

Longer range forecast models continue to show modifying Pacific air flow into western and central Canada into December. Nearly all of the nation is forecast to see above normal temperatures during December. It's important to remember that this is an average for an entire month and that a few short bursts of cold, snowy weather are still quite likely despite the mild monthly average.

Important factors to help induce winter weather will be how fast snow cover becomes established across the Prairies and how persistent the Pacific flow is as we move deeper into the winter. Any time the Pacific flow of mild air stops for a time, we will likely see a pool of cold or very cold weather develop across parts of western or central Canada. With El Nino in place, these cold occurrences are more than likely going to be few and far between.

Doug Webster can be reached at


Posted at 10:38AM CST 11/05/15 by Doug Webster

Monday 11/02/15

El Nino Rain Has an Effect

The following rundown on Oklahoma pasture conditions, by livestock expert Derrell Peel, is very encouraging regarding Southern Plains moisture supplies ahead of winter. This is one of the most optimistic such summaries Dr. Peel has written in the past few years -- no surprise.

A more-active rainfall pattern in the Southern Plains -- due largely to El Nino in the Pacific Ocean -- has made a positive impact on soil moisture for wheat and pastures. (Map courtesy UNL Drought Monitor)


Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Drought conditions, which advanced sharply in the late summer and fall, have decreased significantly with recent rains in Oklahoma. The latest Drought Monitor, dated October 27, showed only 2.79% of Oklahoma with drought rated at D2 and zero in D3 and D4, the worst drought categories. This was a significant improvement from the week prior. Despite rains in other parts of the state, the north-central region of the state, an important wheat production area, had gone nearly 50 consecutive days with less than one-quarter inch precipitation. This region received up to an inch of rain as part of statewide rain coverage late last week. Additional improvement in the reported drought conditions is expected this week. Last week's crop progress report showed that 85% of Oklahoma wheat was planted with 62% emerged. Both of those figures are slightly lower than the five-year average for that date. Recent rains will result in rapid wheat development, and some wheat will be ready for grazing soon.

In the final report for the growing season, Oklahoma range and pasture conditions are rated about average for this time of year compared to non-drought years, with 78% of pasture rated fair to excellent. In many cases, pastures still have some green and quality is good. Estimated 2015 total hay supplies in Oklahoma are 7.3 million tons, the third-largest annual hay supply ever for the state, and the largest since 2007. It appears that Oklahoma is in good shape with respect to feed and forage supplies and is ready for winter.


Posted at 10:11AM CST 11/02/15 by Bryce Anderson

Thursday 10/29/15

Prairies Start Nov. Cold, Then Warm Up

The first week of November is expected to begin on a colder note for Western Canada. Temperatures trend towards normal or below normal as we move through the early and middle part of the week. There may be some light precipitation during this period, but probably nothing of significance.

We see a weak-to-moderate upper level trough tracking across that pulls down somewhat colder weather from the north during this time frame. A weak-to-moderate surface high should lead to the colder trend for the first part of the week. There is a slight difference between the weather models as it concerns this time frame. The U.S. model appears to be the coldest of the models while the European model is the warmest and the Canadian model is somewhere in the middle. I would favor a middle-of-the-road solution during this time frame, somewhat like the Canadian model suggests.

The longer-range outlook is even more uncertain today. The European model suggests a significant warm-up late in the week and during the weekend as the main jet stream lifts north of the Canadian Prairies crop belt. This allows for warmer or much-warmer-than-normal temperatures and a continued drier trend.

The U.S. model features a secondary surface high that may maintain the colder bias to the weather pattern into the late week before a somewhat warmer trend takes hold. This model also suggests an increase in the threat of precipitation as the region turns warmer late in the week and during the weekend.

The Canadian model features more of an upper level trough over the area during the middle of the week and a stronger surface high dropping down from northwest Canada at the end of the week. If this model were to verify it would suggest a somewhat higher risk for precipitation during the mid-week period and a colder trend towards the end of the period.

It is a difficult call today on which solution to use as it concerns the end of next week and next weekend. I would have to give the edge today to the solution trends in the direction of what we would expect during a typical El Nino year. This leads me to use a little more of today's European model with the idea of a warmer and drier trend for the end of next week and next weekend. However, as you can see from above this forecast would be issued with some uncertainty.


Posted at 4:39PM CDT 10/29/15 by Joel Burgio

Tuesday 10/27/15

Weather Brings Solid Harvest Activity

The latest crop reports that came out on Monday afternoon show no real surprises. Due to the generally open weather during the first 2-3 weeks of October harvest progress for corn and soybeans is running at or ahead of normal in most states with the soybean harvest mostly complete in the western Midwest and northern Plains. Corn harvest is 75 percent complete, with progress in soybean harvest at 87 percent. The weather pattern during the next 7-10 days will not be as favorable for the remaining harvest, especially across the southern and eastern Midwest and the southern U.S. as a wetter pattern associated with the strong El Nino kicks in.

The El Nino will favor pre-winter development of wheat in both the hard wheat areas of the southern Plains and the soft wheat areas of the Ohio Valley and north Delta as near to above normal rainfall is expected in both locations during the next 10 days. El Ninos during the fall season correlate with wetter than normal conditions over much of the southern U.S. Wheat can use some better conditions; 47 percent of the winter wheat crop rates good to excellent this week, compared with 59 percent good to excellent a year ago.

Overseas, we continue to wait for the rainy season to kick in over the major soybean areas of Mato Grosso, Brazil. During an El Nino, the rainy season can be delayed. However, this year it has been delayed a little longer than expected. We are starting to see signs of an increase in rainfall during the next 7 days with the expectations of a more normal rainfall pattern developing during the month of November which will initiate more widespread planting. Soil moisture conditions are generally adequate to surplus over southern Brazil and central Argentina for corn and soybeans with the expectations that this will continue under an El Nino pattern.

There has been a lot of interest in dry weather in east Ukraine and south Russia and its possible impact on the winter wheat crop. We do know that the crop in these areas will be going into winter not as well established as producers would like due to this dryness. If the winter is severely cold under limited snow cover and spring rains are lacking the crop could be poor. If the crop experiences a mild winter, good snow cover and favorable spring rains the crop could exceed expectations.

Mike Palmerino


Posted at 1:06PM CDT 10/27/15 by Mike Palmerino

Friday 10/23/15

Hurricane Effects on US

OMAHA (DTN) -- When DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Joel Burgio first looked at the wind speed for Hurricane Patricia early Friday morning, he thought it was a mistake. It wasn't.

Hurricane Patricia was moving toward Mexico's southwest coast Friday morning. (Satellite image courtesy of NOAA)

"It's very powerful," Burgio said. With maximum sustained winds at 200 miles per hour and even higher gusts, it was setting a record for being the strongest-ever hurricane in the Western Hemisphere. The National Weather Service by early Friday afternoon called the category 5 hurricane "potentially catastrophic" and "extremely dangerous" as it prepared to slam into the southwest coast of Mexico.

Meanwhile, U.S. ag producers waited to see what impact the hurricane will have after it makes landfall and churns its way northeast across Mexico toward Texas.

Burgio said the tropical system will need to go over steep mountains in Mexico, which should reduce the strong winds, but southern and eastern Texas will still have wind issues and very heavy to torrential rains during the weekend or early next week.

"I think it will be south of the winter wheat area," he said. "Most of the heavy rain will stay south."

The rainmaker is expected to continue toward the Delta and Ohio River Valley areas. Burgio emphasized the heaviest rains should be in a narrow band and may cause some harvest delays, but at this point, most of the crops are harvested and it shouldn't be a big factor.

The U.S. commodity and energy markets also didn't see the hurricane as an issue.

"There has not been much reaction in markets Friday to Hurricane Patricia," DTN Market Analyst Todd Hultman said. "Wheat was up a couple of cents early, possibly due to concerns about heavy rain amounts in Texas this weekend and early next week.

"However, the gain in wheat disappeared on news of a rate cut from China that strengthened the U.S. dollar once again. Crude oil prices have been steady to lower most of the day with no harm anticipated to oil rigs on the Gulf side of Mexico," Hultman said.


DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Michael Palmerino noted the hurricane is heading to an area with severe drought concerns.

"I would say overall it's going to be a positive impact, because it looks like the frontal boundary that is producing the rain right now across the Plains and the Western Corn Belt is ultimately going to pick up the hurricane and drive a lot of that moisture into Texas, especially central, eastern and south Texas.

"Those areas, it's probably going to be too much of a good thing, but if you look at some of the soil moisture profiles there, some of these areas in central Texas, as of last week, were running near 100% short on the topsoil, so we're going to recharge the topsoil," Palmerino said.

"I think it's still going to be a real boom to the pasture land; for producers still trying to harvest there, there could be some issues of flooding."


Even prior to Hurricane Patricia reaching Texas, there already have been flooding issues and flash flood threats in some areas, with some places expected to get almost a foot of rain.

Rains were especially welcome in the winter wheat belt.

Palmerino said that by Friday morning, in general, the winter wheat areas received about 3/4 to 2 1/2 inches of rain, with some locally heavier amounts, including good moisture for the far southwestern Plains. Some areas in the Oklahoma Panhandle got more than 3 inches of rain.

"Just an outstanding rain event. You know, these areas really aren't particularly wet, most areas were running about 50% short of topsoil moisture going into this event, and this is just incredibly timely and beneficial.

"I think it's going to have a very positive impact ... we've been sort of waiting for the rains to get underway there based on one of the strongest El Ninos in the last 60 years, so we're cautiously optimistic going forward that the moisture is going to remain active ... well into the fall."

He added that there also appears to be good chances for "a little more rain back into the hard red winter wheat belt towards the end of next week."

Burgio said the rain from Patricia as it moves northeastward will also help the soft red winter wheat areas, even if it causes some delay for harvesting other crops.

Elaine Shein can be reached at


Posted at 4:05PM CDT 10/23/15 by Elaine Shein
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Recent Blog Posts
  • Corn Belt 2016 Moisture Supplies Increase
  • Pacific Flow Brings Mild Pattern Back to W. Canada
  • Strong El Nino Still in Place
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  • Earth Was Again Warmer In October
  • Scientists: Effects of Warming Arctic on Corn Belt Weather Unexpected
  • Winter Mostly Elusive for W. Canada
  • Extreme Weather Scorecard
  • Snow Visits Far West
  • Mild Weather Returns to Prairies
  • El Nino Rain Has an Effect
  • Prairies Start Nov. Cold, Then Warm Up
  • Weather Brings Solid Harvest Activity
  • Hurricane Effects on US
  • November Warmth Expected for W. Canada
  • Another Warm One In September
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