Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst

Thursday 12/18/14

Mild Pattern To Last Another Week For Canada

Winter has mostly been on hold during December for most of the Canadian Prairies but not without a couple of brief cold shots and a little snow here and there. The mild temperatures of the recent 10 days has also depleted some of the snow cover that was created during November leading to some concern for some of the winter wheat crop.

There is increasing evidence that winter may make a return during the last week of December and possibly in a big way. For nearly a week the computer models have been telling us that another episode of high latitude blocking may be in the works for North America to end 2014 and to begin 2015.

During the fall and early winter we have been in either a blocking pattern or an El Nino type weather pattern across North America. It appears that when any high latitude blocking develops that it disrupts the El Nino induced weather across North America and brings on a big dose of winter weather. This was the case during the middle of September and again during most of the middle half of November.

During these periods temperatures fell to well below normal levels with even some record low values recorded across parts of the Prairies. Snowfall was also plentiful during each of these periods. As soon as the high latitude blocking breaks down and disappears we see a fairly quick return to the mild El Nino conditions as Pacific air pushes east across the North American continent.

Unlike last winter when the blocking patterns were stubborn and never really let up it appears this winter we are in store for episodes of each type of pattern. The result is likely to be some rather extreme changes in temperature over time with each pattern potentially producing abnormal readings.

Our current spell of mild conditions looks like it will begin to collapse during the middle of next week as a ridge builds northward along the west coast of North America shutting off the moderating influence of the Pacific. This in combination with a developing upper level high pressure area north of Alaska later this month should put in place a new cold air making machine across Canada.

Given the time of year we would expect to see a couple of rounds of possible extreme cold after Christmas and into the early part of January. More than likely the turn to cold weather will bring a couple of rounds of snow as upslope conditions develop. This would be good news for those concerned about losing some of the protective snow cover for winter wheat.

With confidence increasing as to the unfolding turn to cold weather later this month we will start to try and determine how long the cold regime lasts. Given the track record of the past few months, an early guess would be in the 2 to 3 week long time frame before a return of milder conditions.

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

(ES)

Posted at 10:33AM CST 12/18/14 by Doug Webster
Comments (1)
Thanks for the warning.
Posted by JERRY KOCHANIUK at 12:05PM CST 12/18/14
 

Tuesday 12/16/14

North America Was Cool Spot In November

The NOAA global climate report for November shows that--while North America (U.S. and Canada) had a cold month, many other locations in the world--both land and water--were above normal. The world year-to-date temperature is the highest on record. The summary is below. The full report with graphics is at this link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/…

NOAA illustration of November summary.

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

November 2014 global temperature ties for seventh highest on record;

Year-to-date global temperature highest on record

Selected November 2014 Climate Events & Anomalies

Global temperature highlights: November

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces during November tied with 2008 as the seventh highest for the month, at 1.17 deg F (0.65 deg C) above the 20th century average. The margin of error associated with this temperature is plus or minus 0.13 deg F (0.07 deg C). This ends a streak of three consecutive months with a record warm monthly global temperature.

The global land temperature was the 13th highest on record for November, at 1.46 deg F (0.81 deg C) above the 20th century average. The margin of error is plus or minus 0.20 deg F (0.11 deg C). Warmer-than-average temperatures were evident over most of the global land surface, except for most of North America, parts of southwest Asia, and a few isolated areas of northern Russia.

Some national highlights are included below:

The average November maximum temperature for Australia was the highest since records began in 1910, at 3.94 deg F (2.19 deg C) above the 1961--1990 average, breaking the previous record set in 2006 and marking the second consecutive month with a record high maximum temperature. The November minimum temperature was third highest on record, contributing to the highest November mean temperature for the country, at 3.38 deg F (1.88 deg C) above average and beating the previous record set in 2009.

Warm southerly winds persisted during November across much of Europe, contributing to especially warm temperatures for this time of year. November was record warm in Austria and Switzerland, while it was third warmest in Denmark and fifth warmest in the UK. Periods of record vary by country, with each dating back more than a century.

Much of North America was colder than average. Parts of northern Ontario were up to 9 deg F (5 deg C) colder than average for the month. The United States observed its 16th coldest November on record.

For the ocean, the November global sea surface temperature was 1.06 deg F (0.59 deg C) above the 20th century average of 60.4 deg F (15.8 deg C), the highest on record for November, surpassing the previous record set in 1997 by 0.05 deg F (0.03 deg C). The margin of error is plus or minus 0.07 deg F (0.04 deg C). Record warmth was particularly notable across the eastern Pacific Ocean off the western coast of the United States, sections of the equatorial western Pacific, parts of the western North Atlantic, and the eastern north Atlantic near northwestern Europe extending into regions of the Arctic Seas.

Neither El Nino nor La Nina was present across the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during November 2014. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center estimates there is a 65 percent chance that El Nino will be present during the Northern Hemisphere winter and last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.

Precipitation highlights: November

Extreme wetness was observed during November across sections of the northern United States, a region of northwestern Algeria, and parts of southwestern Asia east of the Caspian Sea. Extreme dryness was observed across northern coastal Chile, areas of interior northwestern Africa, far eastern Europe into far western Russia, and the Philippines.

Early winter storms left nearly all of Canada and more than half (50.4 percent) of the United States covered with snow at its peak on November 17. This was the second largest November snow cover extent for Canada, falling shy of the record set just last year.

A "Medicane" (a portmanteau of "Mediterranean" and "hurricane", referring to its several similarities to a tropical storm), named Qendresa, formed east of Tunisia and impacted parts of the Mediterranean on November 7--8, bringing heavy rain and flooding to the region.

Spain reported its wettest November since 1997, at 180 percent of average November precipitation.

Global temperature highlights: September--November

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September--November was the highest on record for this period, at 1.26 deg F (0.70 deg C) above the 20th century average of 57.1 deg F (14.0 deg C), surpassing the previous record set in 2005 by 0.02 deg F (0.01 deg C). The margin of error associated with this temperature is plus or minus 0.16 deg F (0.09 deg C).

The global land temperature was the ninth highest for September--November on record, at 1.62 deg F (0.90 deg C) above the 20th century average of 48.3 deg F (9.1 deg C). The margin of error is plus or minus 0.31 deg F (0.17 deg C). Much of southern Australia was record warm, as was much of southern South America, the west coast of the United States, Far East Russia, and parts of southern Europe extending into northwestern Africa.

For the second year in a row, Australia observed its warmest spring (September--November) in the 105-year period of record, at 3.01 deg F (1.67 deg C) above the 1961--1990 average. This breaks the previous record, set in 2013, by 0.18 deg F (0.10 deg C).

Austria had its warmest fall since records began in 1767, while Denmark, Germany, France, and Switzerland each reported their second warmest fall on record, with periods of record varying by country, with each dating back more than a century.

For the ocean, the September--November global sea surface temperature was 1.13 deg F (0.63 deg C), above the 20th century average of 60.7 deg F (16.0 deg C), the highest for September--November on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2003 by 0.11 deg F (0.06 deg C). The margin of error is plus or minus 0.07 deg F (0.04 deg C). Much warmer than average temperatures were observed across nearly the entire Indian Ocean. Record warmth was particularly notable across the eastern Pacific Ocean off the western coast of the United States and a large section of the equatorial western Pacific, sections of the northeastern and southeastern Atlantic, regions of the Arctic Oceans.

Polar ice highlights: November and September--November

Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extent, from the Global Snow & Ice Report

The average Arctic sea ice extent for November was 4.00 million square miles, 240,000 square miles (5.7 percent) below the 1981--2010 average and the ninth smallest November extent since records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice extent was below average on the Pacific side of the Arctic and near-average on the Atlantic side.

Antarctic sea ice during November was 6.42 million square miles, 130,000 square miles (2.0 percent) above the 1981--2010 average. This was the eighth largest November Antarctic sea ice extent on record.

According to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during November was 14.12 million square miles, 1.01 million square miles above the 1981--2010. This ranked as the fifth largest November Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent in the 49-year period of record. North America had its record largest November snow cover extent, while Eurasia had its 15th largest. For fall, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was the second largest on record—the North American snow cover extent was also second largest for the season, while the Eurasian snow cover extent was the fourth largest.

Global temperature highlights: Year-to-date

November 2014 Global Supplemental Information.

The first 11 months of 2014 was the warmest such period on record, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature of 1.22 deg F (0.68 deg C) above the 20th century average of 57.0 deg F (13.9 deg C), surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.02 deg F (0.01 deg C). The margin of error is plus or minus 0.18 deg F (0.10 deg C). 2014 is currently on track to be the warmest year on record if the December global temperature is at least 0.76 deg F (0.42 deg C) above its 20th century average.

The January--November worldwide land surface temperature was 1.71 deg F (0.95 deg C) above the 20th century average, the sixth warmest such period on record. The margin of error is plus or minus 0.38 deg F (0.21 deg C).

The global ocean surface temperature for the year-to-date was 1.03 deg F (0.57 deg C) above average, the warmest such period on record, surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.07 deg F (0.04 deg C). The margin of error is plus or minus 0.07 deg F (0.04 deg C).

(ES)

Posted at 6:10AM CST 12/16/14 by Bryce Anderson
 

Friday 12/12/14

Southwest Plains Still Need Precip

El Nino may be flexing its weather influence in the Far West, but the impact has not made it to the southwestern Plains wheat areas as yet. Using the National Weather Service "water year" precipitation period as a guide, wheat country in Oklahoma and Texas is more than one drink shy of average. (The "water year" runs from October 1 to October 1) So far this 2014-15 water year, we are seeing precipitation percentage totals for the southwestern Plains in the range of 50 to 75 percent below average. That's pretty dry, and it's likely been one reason why the area's wheat crop had lower ratings at the end of crop reporting season in November than it did last year. Wheat in Oklahoma and Texas both rated around 50 percent good to excellent. That's not bad, but, especially in Oklahoma, that rating total is some 20 percentage points below where the wheat stood in the ratings last year.

Water year precipitation (from October 1) is mostly running from 50 to 75 percent below normal in the main wheat-growing areas of Oklahoma, northern Texas and the Texas Panhandle. (National Weather Service graphic by Nick Scalise)

What happens this coming week, with a big storm system showing up in the Far West and causing havoc along with being a heavy rain and snow maker? There will be some rain during the next five days; however, it does not appear to be that big an event--less than a half-inch precipitation is expected in the southwestern Plains. There is another Pacific Ocean-origin storm system that shows up on the maps for the last half of next week, and it's this one that has greater potential for being a precipitation-maker for the entire southern Plains region--not just the usually-favored sector east of Interstate 35.

You may ask, "What's the big worry if El Nino is in effect? Aren't we going to get several dependable rounds of these storms?" That may be true, but every storm that misses is one less chance at some activity; and, since around 40 percent of Oklahoma and more than 20 percent of Texas has either Severe Drought or worse in this week's Drought Monitor, I would like to see some action now rather than later if I want drought relief (and I do). I'm sure that producers in the southwestern Plains would agree.

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Posted at 2:24PM CST 12/12/14 by Bryce Anderson
 

Thursday 12/11/14

El Nino Contributes to Warmth in Canada

There are several indicators across the Pacific and North America pointing to at least weak El Nino conditions at the current time. Ocean sea surface temperatures through the eastern Pacific are milder than average and near El Nino criteria and we are also seeing an active stream of weather systems moving into the U.S. West Coast where bouts of drought-relieving rains are likely for California during the next week.

Another signal that has arisen during the past several days as high latitude blocking fades from North America is the arrival of Pacific-origin air across much of the U.S. and across most of the southern half of Canada. Gone are the below-normal temperatures across the Prairies and during the past couple of days readings have jumped to above normal for many areas.

The main polar jet stream is crossing the Pacific and moving across Canada in a west-to-east fashion. This allows the modifying influence of the Pacific to reach far and wide across North America displacing arctic chill to the most northern latitudes of the nation.

This is good news for those who could do without winter's icy chill but is this going to be a feature for the remainder of the winter or will we see cold air again grip western Canada before long? The answer is that we will most likely see a return of cold weather and that's probably the easy part of the question. The tough part is trying to figure out when cold weather makes a return.

For now the mild El Nino-like pattern is likely for another couple of weeks but there are some hints that by the time we get to Christmas and beyond that the Pacific flow may shut down and high latitude blocking could start to return to North America. Timing this change is nearly impossible at this time but the timeframe as it appears now is during the last week of December to the very beginning of January for the cold air return.

As we saw during early November the change from mild to cold can be impressive and quick. When the Pacific flow gets shut off, arctic air can build quickly across Canada sending temperatures crashing. It would not be surprising to see temperatures run above or well above normal for the next two weeks then fall to well-below normal quite quickly before New Year's arrives.

During the next two weeks, we are likely to see warmth most of the time but a couple of short periods of seasonably cool weather are likely, especially through eastern portions of the Prairies. Generally dry weather is also a typical theme of the current pattern with upslope snows probably holding off until the potential turn to cold weather late in the month.

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

(ES)

Posted at 10:44AM CST 12/11/14 by Doug Webster
 

Thursday 12/04/14

Canadian Prairies Sees Slow Warming Pattern

We continue to see signs that the high latitude blocking pattern that lead to very cold weather during November is coming to an end. The models show the high latitude ridge moving to the other side of the North Pole within the next five days. This high latitude ridge is what forced the polar vortex well to the south in Canada for the last few weeks. It also contributed to building surface pressure which at this time of the year can be very cold.

The strong trough that is currently over north and east Canada is expected to weaken and shift north during coming days, following the high latitude ridge on its trek northward. This will lead to above-normal heights aloft and a more west to east flow in Canada which in turn will lead to warmer or even much warmer temperatures.

We also take note of a strong trough located off the coast of North America at this time. This trough is helping to move the jet stream to move north and is allowing the warmer weather from the U.S. to move into the Canadian Prairies. These changes should lead to much warmer weather as soon as early next week.

However, there could be a delay in warming up the region as snow cover will slow the advance of warm weather and may contribute to more cloud cover. This could also slow the warming trend. However, so long as the mean trough remains to the west and the high latitude ridge remains well north, it is just a matter of time before the warmth develops in the region.

The next question then becomes how long will this warming trend last? There are already hints in some longer-term charts that the trough in the Pacific may move inland and undercut the developing warm ridge in central North America. This could mean a change back to cold weather for the second part of the month of December for the region. The El Nino in the Pacific Ocean is another wild card in the extended range forecast. Some believe that this could prevent another severe cold outbreak from developing. However, I believe that this feature would not be strong enough to prevent cold air from returning if the high latitude ridge redevelops. Stay tuned as the ability of the global forecast models to predict a return to a high latitude blocking pattern is limited, at best. This may mean that we will have short notice that the cold weather pattern might be redeveloping.

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

(ES)

Posted at 12:35PM CST 12/04/14 by Joel Burgio
Comments (2)
Might super typhoon in Pacific have any effect if it moves north east?
Posted by JERRY KOCHANIUK at 4:26PM CST 12/04/14
Forecasts for the Philippines super typhoon "Ruby" (Hagupit) have its track running almost straight west across the Philippines into the South China Sea by Sunday Dec 7. It looks like a very low probability that this storm's track will make a dramatic swing to the northeast.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 1:49PM CST 12/05/14
 

Friday 11/28/14

North And South America Comments

As we head into the last few days of November we would like to make a few comments about the weather patterns in both South and North America.

Across South America where most of the interest is right now as it concerns developing corn and soybeans, conditions are looking pretty good. We started off the growing season in Brazil with a delay in the start of the rainy season in the Mato Grosso which delayed soybean planting. This situation continued until about the last 10 days when we have begun to see the onset of the rainy season. It is unlikely that once the rainy season is underway that any significant dryness will return during the remainder of the growing season in this region. The growing areas of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul as well as central Argentina were unfavorably wet earlier in the growing season but we have begun to see a more favorable balance between dry weather and rainfall which has favored both planting and developing corn and soybeans. These areas tend to be more vulnerable to drought during the summer but due to the fact we are in an El Nino pattern that likelihood would be diminished this year.

The month of November was quite noteworthy across the central US with the unusual persistence of very cold weather in the Midwest. Des Moines IA experienced 252 consecutive hours of below freezing temperatures during the month of November which was the greatest in 137 years of record keeping. The most concerning aspect of this from the point of view of a meteorologist was the inability see this coming very far in advance. Once again this was all brought on by the development of blocking features (high pressure) in the high latitudes of North America. When it happens in the winter it can lead to extreme winter weather conditions in the US. When it happens in the summer it usually leads to very favorable growing conditions for corn and soybeans.

The blocking pattern at this time has shifted further to the north up to or just on the other side of the pole which has allowed the core of coldest weather to shift to the north of the border into Canada. When this happens the pattern reverts into one featuring more variable temperature (up and down). Storminess with the relaxed pattern would tend to follow more of an El Nino characteristic which would mean the most likely areas for significant precipitation would tend to favor southern and eastern areas of the US which would include the southern and eastern Midwest.

It appears to us that the blocking pattern trumps all other features that can control our weather. And when significant blocking does occur its impact on the US is significant. Unfortunately we are not in a position to have more than a 5-7 day notice from the models that a significant blocking pattern is going to develop. With that being said we would expect that additional episodes of severe winter weather are in store for us in the coming months due to the persistence of this blocking feature during the past couple of years.

Mike

(ES)

Posted at 9:54AM CST 11/28/14 by Mike Palmerino
 

Wednesday 11/26/14

Up and Down Temps for Prairies

As the latest siege of severe cold sets its sights on Western Canada, we see a weather pattern unfolding that may lead us into a fairly wild roller coaster temperature pattern during the next week to 10 days.

High latitude blocking has weakened significantly during the past several days but enough remains to land one more punch of low temperatures and snow across the Prairies into this weekend. As we move into early December, the evolving upper air pattern will show some high latitude blocking, but it is expected to be located near the North Pole in a fashion that does not push the polar vortex south enough to keep southwestern Canada in a non-stop cold pattern.

Very low temperatures will exist across central and northern Canada for much of the next 10 days, but a mild pattern featuring Pacific air will cover the western U.S. The Canadian Prairies will be stuck in the middle and will likely see a little of both air mass types as we go through the next 10 days.

After a period of very cold weather into early Monday, we will likely see a quick warm-up later Monday into early Tuesday before a second punch of cold arrives for the middle of next week. Pacific air may then push across the Prairies to end next week sending temperatures to above normal.

Signs of El Nino remain across the Pacific; with blocking weaker now than it was during the middle of November, we are likely to see a little bit of cold and a little bit of mild weather since neither of these potentially deciding weather regimes are dominant at this time.

If at some point down the road high latitude blocking becomes a more deciding factor, then we could easily see frigid weather return. However, on the other side of the coin, if El Nino grows a little stronger during the coming weeks, a mild Pacific flow could take hold.

You may want to keep your score card handy during the next month as some rather significant temperature fluctuations take place across western and southwestern Canada.

Some healthy amounts of snow are likely during the next few days from central and southern Alberta to southern Saskatchewan as upslope conditions combine with moisture pushing across the Rockies. A second snow threat for the Prairies next Tuesday does not look as fruitful at this point.

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

(ES)

Posted at 9:38AM CST 11/26/14 by Doug Webster
 

Monday 11/24/14

Foreign Crop Areas Weather Update

A look at a few crop areas around the world, outside of the North and South America areas.

South Africa Maize and Sugarcane areas: We continue to note the development of weak El Nino in the Pacific. This can sometimes have an impact on the maize and sugarcane areas of South Africa. This season has featured a few periods of hotter, drier weather for both of these crop areas but so far timely rains have prevented significant stress from hitting either crop. The forecast for this week shows a trend towards below normal rains and above normal temperatures for northern areas of the maize and sugarcane region with a tendency for normal rains and more seasonal temperatures through the southern areas. This area will be watched for any sign that the El Nino may be impacting the area as we move through the southern hemisphere summer, December through February.

Australia is also a region that would normally be impacted during El Nino years. However, at this time of the year the main winter wheat crop is in harvest and the summer crops are not very big as it concerns the global picture. We do not occasional periods of extreme heat and dryness impacting the east-central Australia area which appears to be affecting the cotton and sorghum crops in the area.

Russia produces a winter wheat crop and other winter grains this time of the year. This area has been in the news during recent weeks in terms of a continued dry weather pattern that has been in place since the middle summer period. The late fall period has seen an increase in rainfall for the southern most wheat areas of Russia which has eased concerns a bit. However, many areas in western and southern Russia are still very dry and will need generous spring rains to ensure favorable development. A generous winter snow season would also help to replenish soil moisture if it were to occur and assuming a relatively orderly spring melt of this snow. Snow would also help to protect wheat from winter cold as a poorly established winter grains crop in Russia would be at some risk of increased winter kill in the event of cold winter temperatures. This will be watched during the coming months.

China winter wheat and rapeseed areas have received adequate early fall moisture but the area has recent turned somewhat drier.. The temperatures are still warm enough for development of these crops in the southern part of the area. The crops have recently been relying on irrigation to supplement the drier soils. However, the forecast suggests some increase in shower activity during this week with continued warm temperatures.

India winter wheat and rapeseed areas reply mostly on irrigation supplies by the summer Monsoon rainy season. We did note a slow start to the monsoon early in the summer but the rains came on strongly later in the summer and reports suggest adequate irrigation for these crops. The wheat crop may also see seasonal shower activity during the January and February time frame as the northern jet stream drops into the region during normal winter weather. This added rain is needed to supplement irrigation during the high moisture usage period when the crop is in reproduction.

(ES/AG/CZ)

Posted at 11:47AM CST 11/24/14 by Joel Burgio
 

Friday 11/21/14

Record World Warmth in October

Following are highlights of the NOAA Global Climate Report for October. Some of the temperature departures from normal are impressive for the far-above-normal warming. The full report with graphics is at this link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/…

October 2014 blended land and sea surface temperature percentiles. Many global areas were either much warmer than average or record warmest. (Graphic courtesy of NOAA)

GLOBAL HIGHLIGHTS

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for October, at 0.74 deg C (1.33 deg F) above the 20th century average of 14.0 deg C (57.1 deg F).

The global land surface temperature was 1.05 deg C (1.89 deg F) above the 20th century average of 9.3 deg C (48.7 deg F)—the fifth highest for October on record.

For the ocean, the October global sea surface temperature was 0.62 deg C (1.12 deg F) above the 20th century average of 15.9 deg C (60.6 deg F) and the highest for October on record.

The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January-October period (year-to-date) was 0.68 deg C (1.22 deg F) above the 20th century average of 14.1 deg C (57.4 deg F). The first ten months of 2014 were the warmest such period on record.

With records dating back to 1880, the global temperature averaged across the world's land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for the month, at 0.74 deg C (1.33 deg F) above the 20th century average. This also marks the third consecutive month and fifth of the past six with a record high global temperature for its respective month (July was fourth highest).

The record high October temperature was driven by warmth across the globe over both the land and ocean surfaces and was fairly evenly distributed between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The Southern Hemisphere was record warm overall with a record high land surface temperature for the month. The Northern Hemisphere was third warmest on record for October, with a record high average sea surface temperature.

Globally, the average land surface temperature was the fifth highest on record for October, at 1.05 deg C (1.89 deg F) above the 20th century average. Record warmth in much of southern South America and large parts of southern and western Australia contributed to the record high average land surface temperature in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, record warmth was also observed in parts of southern Europe, the western coastal regions of the United States, and much of Far East Russia. On the other hand, parts of central Siberia observed temperatures 4-5 deg C (7-9 deg F) below average.

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

Australia observed its highest nationally-averaged maximum temperature for October since official records began in 1910, at 2.76 deg C (4.97 deg F) above the 1961--1990 average. Combined with the eighth highest October minimum temperature on record, the mean October temperature (average of maximum and minimum temperatures) for the country was the second highest on record at 1.91 deg C (3.44 deg F) above average, behind only 1988. The warmth was notable for its spread across Australia; New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia all had record high mean temperatures for the month while Victoria had its second highest.

Austria had its seventh warmest October since national records began in 1767, with a temperature 2.2 deg C (4.0 deg F) higher than the 1981-2010 average. According to ZAMG, even if observed monthly temperatures during November and December are average, 2014 will still be the warmest year in the country's 248-year period of record.

Germany observed its third warmest October since national records began in 1881. The temperature was 2.9 deg C (5.2 deg F) higher than the 1961-1990 average and 2.7 deg C (4.9 deg F) higher than the more recent 1981-2010 average.

The October temperature for Norway was 1.8 deg C (3.2 deg F) higher than the 1981--2010 average. Parts of Rogeland and some areas in Ostafjells observed temperatures 3-4 deg C (5-7 deg F) above their average.

Denmark had its second warmest October since national records began in 1874, just 0.1 deg C (0.2 deg F) cooler than the record warmest October of 2006.

October 2014 in the United Kingdom tied as the 10th warmest October since national records began in 1910, at 1.6 deg C (2.9 deg F) above the 1981-2010 average. The October temperature for England was 1.9 deg C (3.4 deg F) higher than average, tying as the seventh highest temperature on record for October.

Switzerland had its fourth warmest October in the country's 150-year period of record. Measurement stations in Lugano, Locarno, Sion, and Geneva all reported record high temperatures for October, with Sion and Geneva 3 deg C (5 deg F) warmer than average for the month.

With records dating back to 1900, France also had its fourth warmest October, with a temperature 2.4 deg C (4.3 deg F) higher than the 1981--2010 average.

Sweden was warmer than average during October, with the southern half of the country experiencing temperatures 2-4 deg C (4-7 deg F) above their October averages. On October 28, the daily average temperature in Stockholm was 14.2 deg C (57.6 deg F), the highest daily average observed so late in the year since records began in 1756 (258 years ago).

The global oceans were the warmest on record for October, with a temperature that averaged 0.62 deg C (1.12 deg F) higher than the 20th century average. This marks the sixth month in a row (beginning in May 2014) that the global ocean temperature broke its monthly temperature record. October 2014 also ties with June 2014 for the third highest ocean temperature departure on average for any month on record; the second highest departure from average occurred in August 2014 and the all-time highest occurred just last month.

These record and near-record warm global sea surface temperatures have all occurred in the absence of El Nino, a large-scale warming of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean that generally occurs every five to seven years on average. However, there is close to a 60 percent chance for El Nino to officially develop during the Northern Hemisphere winter, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. The potential El Nino is favored to be weak and last into Northern Hemisphere spring 2015. This forecast focuses on the ocean surface temperatures between 5 deg N and 5 deg S latitude and 170 deg W to 120 deg W longitude.

The first ten months of 2014 (January-October) were the warmest such period since record keeping began in 1880, with a combined global land and ocean average surface temperature 0.68 deg C (1.22 deg F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F), surpassing the previous record set in 1998 and tied in 2010 by 0.02 deg C (0.04 deg F). 2014 is currently on track to be the warmest year on record.

The most recent 12-month period, November 2013-October 2014, broke the record (set just last month) for the all-time warmest 12-month period in the 135-year period of record, at 0.68 deg C (1.22 deg F) above average, with November 2013 and May, June, August, September, and October 2014 all record warm for their respective months. (originally published as 0.69 deg C, corrected 20 Nov 2014)

For January-October, the average global sea surface temperature was also record high, beating the previous record of 1998 by 0.03 deg C (0.05 deg F). The average global land surface temperature tied with 1998 and 2002 as the fourth highest on record. Record warmth for the year-to-date was particularly notable across much of northern and western Europe, parts of Far East Russia, and large areas of the northeastern and western equatorial Pacific Ocean. It is also notable that record warmth was observed in at least some areas of every continent and major ocean basin around the world.

OCTOBER PRECIPITATION

As is typical, October precipitation anomalies varied significantly around the world.

Select national information is highlighted below. (Please note that different countries report anomalies with respect to different base periods. The information provided here is based directly upon these data):

Most of Japan observed above-average rainfall during October, with much of eastern Japan reporting precipitation that was significantly above average. Typhoons Vongfong and Phanfone, which struck Japan within about a week of one another, contributed to the high precipitation totals.

Very Severe Cyclone Hudhud struck the coast of southeastern India in mid-October, bringing heavy rainfall to the region. One localized area in the state of Andhra Pradesh reported a 24-hour rainfall total of 15 inches (380 mm).

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(ES)

Posted at 11:04AM CST 11/21/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (11)
Its funny you didn't mention much about the United States in your report. I'm sure at least in Iowa we had one of the coolest summers on record. Are you sure the NOAA incorporated some of the below normal temps in the Midwest in this report?????
Posted by DUSTIN RICKERTSEN at 10:55PM CST 11/23/14
It has been a warm November in North Dakota! Or maybe not.
Posted by JONATHON EATON at 12:43AM CST 11/24/14
Its funny you didn't mention the fall elections, US voted that there is no global warming!!!!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 5:05AM CST 11/24/14
Don't know the world wide averages, however only 8 deg. F. here this morning. The ground has been frozen for a month already. We can usually accomplish some field work until Thanksgiving. According to the boob tube, it has been one of the coldest Novembers on record.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:50AM CST 11/25/14
Dog dish froze again this morning, how can there be global warming when the only place in the world that matters is my postal zip code????
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:34AM CST 11/25/14
Solar powered dog dish heater don't work at night Jay? Maybe you could get a grant to study why.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:57AM CST 11/26/14
Just had dinner so cross off global hunger as well!!!!!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 12:08PM CST 11/26/14
US info discussed in blog comment section Nov 12. But one highlight--US Oct temp was the 4th-warmest on record.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 3:02PM CST 11/26/14
We've had month after month of 10 to 20 degree days of colder then normal with a few days of normal through in ,at the end of the month the NOAA says warmest month on record. Do we believe them or step outside ?
Posted by FRANK FULWIDER at 7:36AM CST 11/28/14
Yes, step out on the back porch and read the thermometer, open your refrigerator and see all the food,,,,,, hey guys its called "GLOBAL" climate change and "WORLD" hunger for a reason but to see this you first need to pull your heads out of the sand! We aren't in Kansas anymore!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 1:32PM CST 11/29/14
Jay,have you checked the price of corn,wheat ,beans?Globle record crop of grains. The sky's not falling yet. Where people are hungry its not only the climates fault. You have farming methods, gov. regulations,money and transportation problems
Posted by FRANK FULWIDER at 7:32AM CST 12/01/14
 

Thursday 11/20/14

Low Confidence in Weather Outlook for Western Canada

The calendar says we are still in the final month of meteorological fall, but we all know winter has taken over across much of North America in grand scale during the middle portion of November. Record low temperatures and record snow cover extent make our senses think it is later December or January.

The course our weather patterns have taken during the past two weeks do not appear to be the course we will be on during the next two weeks, according to the computer models that most weather scientists use each day. Changes are blowing in the wind as the strong high latitude blocking is currently decaying. We most likely will see a pattern a little more in keeping with late November during the next week.

The cold air making machine is breaking down, at least for now, and a more progressive west-to-east weather pattern is likely to bring moderating temperatures as well as a couple of snow chances during the next week. Temperatures are expected to be closer to normal by this weekend into next week. Compared to the past week, temperatures will feel like a heat wave.

The forecast for the remainder of the month is not quite etched in stone though, as not all model forecasts are on board for a more relaxed late-fall weather pattern. Some versions of the many runs of each model are hinting that somewhat of a return of blocking patterns and very cold weather could take place later this month.

Other model versions are not on board with the cold scenario and leave us with a cautious forecast for less cold later this month. This winter's forecast is likely to be more complex than last, as there are more potential players in the mix. An El Nino of modest proportions appears to be in place which throws in the potential of some mild, dry conditions in at some point. Blocking reared its ugly head 10 days ago and could return without too much warning turning mild breezes to frigid winds.

The large pool of anomalously warm ocean water through the Gulf of Alaska is not present this year and may have been a contributor to a nearly endless western North America ridge and cold of last winter. The differences from last winter leave us with more questions than answers and this may be one of those years where we roll with the punches.

Weather conditions may be quite, if not highly, variable during the next few months as El Nino plays a tug-of-war with periods when some blocking develops. The variability seen already during November may be a clue as to where the winter weather will take us.

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

(ES)

Posted at 10:43AM CST 11/20/14 by Doug Webster
 

Tuesday 11/18/14

Harsh Cold Brings Late Harvest Issues

I received an e-mail comment on this January-like cold weather pattern from an Upper MIdwest producer that was like a dash of--illustration intended--cold water. It went like this:

"Combines filled with snow and ice. Trucks (and) grain cart tractors gelled."

Of course! It's one thing to have cold air--but THIS kind of cold hitting harvest fields? With probably most fuel mixtures not in winter mode--and machinery not expected to have to be worked with in a snowstorm environment. Those sentences put a new slant on the weather situation for the final 11 percent of the U.S. corn crop to be harvested and the last 6 percent of soybeans. After all--Wisconsin has 7 percent of its soybeans and 36 percent of its corn still to be harvested and Michigan has 8 percent of its soybeans 41 percent of its corn left in the field. Other parts of the eastern Corn Belt have a ways to go also with Indiana still with 16 percent of its corn left to harvest; Ohio 19 percent. North Dakota has 15 percent left. Colorado 16 percent. And Pennsylvania has 21 percent still to go.

The slant that my source's e-mail reminded me of is this--that this bitter cold needs to be looked at in relation to harvest in more than just a field or crop perspective. Cold weather firms up the ground, which allows for machinery to roll along better. We're all familiar with that line. But if it's so cold that a combine--or a truck--or a tractor--won't start--well, there's not much progress on that frozen ground after all.

So, this last stage of harvest will be a bit of an adventure. Will the market care? It's doubtful considering the size of the total harvest. But there may be some local basis moves depending on how things go. At the very least, there will be several million bushels that don't cause a storage problem for at least a short while.

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Posted at 2:37PM CST 11/18/14 by Bryce Anderson
 

Friday 11/14/14

Brazil Rainfall Update

Here's a rundown of the Brazil crop area rainfall totals compiled by my colleague Joel Burgio. There are still some dry pockets in the eastern part of the country, but definitely not in southern areas. Amounts are for the time period September 1-November 13 and are displayed in inches.

First, for the major soybean areas.

STATE Total Normal Pct of Normal

Goias 5.90 11.44 52

Mato Grosso 9.27 9.74 95

MG do Sul 8.77 9.40 93

Parana 14.84 13.00 115

Santa Caterina 28.81 12.71 225

RG do Sul 20.55 12.53 164

And--here is the detail for the two leading coffee states, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais

Sao Paulo 7.93 10.28 77

Minas Gerais 6.54 10.71 61

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(ES/AG/CZ)

Posted at 2:20PM CST 11/14/14 by Bryce Anderson
 

Thursday 11/13/14

Arctic Cold In Canada

Winter's cold air descended upon western and central Canada a few days ago bringing back memories of last winter. A weather pattern very much the same as we saw so frequently last winter and spring is now in place across North America.

High latitude blocking appeared almost out of the blue less than a week ago and now grips the Northern Hemisphere and completely disrupted the modest El Nino pattern that had been in place during October. The polar vortex that was along the north coast of Russia during October now is across the Hudson Bay region of Canada. A ridge near Canada's West Coast blocks any warming influence from the Pacific Ocean.

This type of pattern allows arctic air to quickly form at this time of year. The nights are long and snow now covers nearly all of Canada. High pressure across the snow-covered landscape allows temperatures to plummet. This weather pattern creating cold air is well established now, but how long should we expect the siege of winter cold to last?

The answer is a tough one. A year ago, a neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) condition prevailed and high latitude blocking was nearly endless all winter and spring allowing low temperatures to be dominant. This year, we have seen El Nino on the verge of blossoming across the Pacific; during October, many of El Nino type weather conditions developed across the U.S. and Canada. The mild, mostly dry weather across the Prairies was one of these parameters.

With El Nino potential existing this winter, but also with the renewed blocking patterns of the recent week, where we go from here is more clouded. Blocking appears to be the key for what kind of weather we may experience. The blocking of the past week has completely disrupted the once seemingly well-established El Nino like pattern across Western Canada.

Models have great difficulty in seeing the development of blocking, as well as its demise. If the blocking disappears, it's a pretty good bet that the milder-than-normal regime of an El Nino like pattern will return. The problem is we are at the mercy of the model inability to give us much notice of blocking's entrance and exit.

Our gut feeling is that this might be one of those winters when we see some rather great extremes in temperature. We do not feel blocking will be in place all of the time like last year, but when it is, it will likely be quite cold. When blocking weakens or disappears, it can turn much milder and in a hurry.

The model outlook to 16 days tells us today that blocking weakens but doesn't disappear during the late part of November. This would imply a turn to milder weather after another week or so of very cold weather. The problem is that these are the types of changes that the models have the least skill with and confidence is low on the forecast for this time period.

We may have one of those winters where we have to roll with the punches and accept that we may not have lots of notice when some substantial temperature changes take place.

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

(ES)

Posted at 10:48AM CST 11/13/14 by Doug Webster
Comments (1)
I will take the cold, if it helps the grain market warm up. I see the combines are rolling in the snow covered fields again.
Posted by GWL 61 at 11:42AM CST 11/13/14
 

Wednesday 11/12/14

Duration Of Cold May Be Impressive

To start out this blog entry, I call your attention to the final paragraph of a post that my colleague Doug Webster authored just two weeks ago on Thursday, October 30. In writing an update on the weather pattern for the Canadian Prairies, Doug concluded with this comment:

"The key to the upcoming winter pattern will be if and when any high latitude blocking high pressure develops and where the polar vortex decides to be. If the polar vortex stays more on the Asian side and blocking is minimal then the milder El Nino aspect of the pattern is likely to be a more important player. If blocking returns along with a stronger polar vortex across North America then the El Nino pattern will be disrupted."

Jump ahead two weeks, and what are we experiencing? We have high latitude blocking high pressure over northwestern Canada and portions of Greenland. We have also had the polar vortex migrating across the North Pole and onto the North America side of the polar region, with the result being the bitter cold wave that has covered the entire central U.S. and is heading toward the eastern and southeastern sectors of the country. Only the far western and southern portions are truly escaping the incursion of this cold wave.

This very cold pattern is of course far out of season. It's one thing to have this type of cold move in during late December and into January--after all, that's the period with the shortest days of the year in the northern hemisphere, so we expect that. But mid-November is still a time period when Indian Summer conditions are possible. I don't associate air temperatures in the single digits Fahrenheit and wind chill index values of well below zero F with Veterans' Day--but that's what we have.

Have we had cold snaps of similar magnitude in the past--yes, of course we have. One such event was the Armistice Day Freeze in November 1940, when a quick and brutal cold wave swooped into the Midwest following a very mild October-early November period--one of the Indian Summer occasions. That cold wave killed many acres of apple trees, and likely wiped out true commercial fruit production in the western Midwest.

But--a big difference between that event and the Big Chill we have in effect now is that, back in 1940, the cold snap came in, did its (significant) damage, and then modified in just a few days. That's not the case with this Arctic package. Forecast charts have this very cold pattern staying around for the better part of two weeks at least.

That hanging around--the duration--of this cold wave is where the real records may come into play. It will be noteworthy to see how many days are tabulated with temperatures in the range of ten to twenty degrees Fahrenheit below normal. That is an outrageous--extreme--departure from normal and may be the real legacy of the November 2014 cold wave.

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(ES)

Posted at 4:16AM CST 11/12/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (2)
What happened to global warming? Is it warm some where in the world? Cold wave similar to 1940 maybe 1800 something, climate hasn't changed much.
Posted by FRANK FULWIDER at 8:33AM CST 11/13/14
We'll of course have to wait for the entire month of November to be tabulated--however, NOAA's U.S. climate report for October shows that October was a warm month. The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. last month was 57.1 degrees Fahrenheit--three degrees F above the 20th century average. This made October 2014 the fourth-warmest October on record. The October precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. was 2.33 inches, or 0.17 inch above average, ranking near the middle of the 120-year period of record. The global State of the Climate report will be issued next week, on Thursday November 20. The full U.S. climate report for October is at this link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 9:18AM CST 11/14/14
 

Monday 11/10/14

Jekyll-Hyde October In Missouri

The following article from the University of Missouri extension service points out just how back-and-forth the month of October was in the western Corn Belt.--Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A lot of rain fell on Missouri the first half of October. The second half was, thankfully, dry.

Several counties in central Missouri had more than 10 inches of rain.

“We have records that go all the way back to the late 1800s, and you will not find a wetter first two weeks of October for the state,” said Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program.

After that wet start, a pattern change turned off the tap and fairer weather dominated the last half of October. Even with drier conditions for the second half, the precipitation for the entire month was above normal.

“The preliminary data is indicating that October 2014 will rank as sixth or seventh wettest October on record,” Guinan said. “That’s how wet the first half was.”

Rain stopped harvest for much of October and farmers were unable to return to their fields until the final days of the month, Guinan said.

While the rain did slow the harvest, it brought one great benefit.

“Drought has been eliminated across our state,” Guinan said. “The Drought Mitigation Center map indicates no drought in Missouri.”

October temperatures were not as extreme as precipitation, but there were some highs. Guinan says on Oct. 25-26 temperatures climbed to the mid- and upper-80s. The monthly temperatures averaged slightly above normal.

“With the exception of a cool July and September, slightly above-average temperatures dominated this year’s growing season, so it was a decent growing season when you look at temperatures,” Guinan said.

Missouri saw its first widespread freeze on Halloween night, with temperatures dipping into the 20s and 30s. Guinan says that effectively ended the 2014 growing season.

(ES)

Posted at 11:11AM CST 11/10/14 by Bryce Anderson
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