Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst

Wednesday 07/23/14

Mostly Favorable August Rain Forecast

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

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

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

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

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

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

Posted at 12:39PM CDT 07/23/14 by Bryce Anderson
Comments (7)
Reminder note--when you respond to topics, keep your comments pertaining to the topic and keep it civil regarding your fellow posters. Do that and we're good. Thanks.
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 2:45PM CDT 07/23/14
Mr. Anderson, This is what I was referring to. From the Daily Mail online, July 5th. For years, computer simulations have predicted that sea ice should be disappearing from the Poles. Now, with the news that Antarctic sea-ice levels have hit new highs, comes yet another mishap to tarnish the credibility of climate science. Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earth's climate on computer simulations. But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming--nearly 18 years long on some measures--since the turn of the last century. It's the same with sea ice. We hear a great deal about the decline in Arctic sea ice, in line with or even ahead of predictions. But why are environmentalists and scientists so much less keen to discuss the long-term increase in the southern hemisphere? In fact, across the globe, there are about one million square kilometres more sea ice than 35 years ago, which is when satellite measurements began. It's fair to say that this has been something of an embarrassment for climate modellers. But it doesn't stop there. In recent days a new scandal over the integrity of temperature data has emerged, this time in America, where it has been revealed as much as 40 per cent of temperature data there are not real thermometer readings. Many temperature stations have closed, but rather than stop recording data from these posts, the authorities have taken the remarkable step of "estimating" temperatures based on the records of surrounding stations. So vast swathes of the data are actually from "zombie" stations that have long since disappeared. This is bad enough, but it has also been discovered that the US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is using estimates even when perfectly good raw data is available to it--and that it has adjusted historical records. Why should it do this? Many have noted that the effect of all these changes is to produce a warmer present and a colder past, with the net result being the impression of much faster warming. They draw their conclusions accordingly. Naturally, if the US temperature records are indeed found to have been manipulated, this is unlikely to greatly affect our overall picture of rising temperatures at the end of the last century and a standstill thereafter. The US is, after all, only a small proportion of the globe. Similarly, climatologists' difficulties with the sea ice may be of little scientific significance in the greater scheme of things. We have only a few decades of data, and in climate terms this is probably too short to demonstrate that either the Antarctic increase or the Arctic decrease is anything other than natural variability. But the relentless focus by activist scientists on the Arctic decline does suggest a political imperative rather than a scientific one--and when put together with the story of the US temperature records, it's hard to avoid the impression that what the public is being told is less than the unvarnished truth. As their credulity is stretched more and more, the public will--quite rightly--treat demands for action with increasing caution... Andrew Mountford
Posted by Brandon Butler at 3:27PM CDT 07/23/14
looks like sept-oct august not soon enough any way for some
Posted by andrew mohlman at 11:36PM CDT 07/23/14
Nothing in the forecast 14 days out. By then it will be too late as crop are stressed already. Better check that August forecast again.
Posted by LYLE FISHER at 7:52AM CDT 07/24/14
Hope you're right Bryce - providing the forecast for precip materializes this weekend, I will have gone nearly a month with only 1.2 inches. BTW Brandon, I agree that modeling is only as good as the people entering the raw data - witness American vs European forecast models.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 8:11AM CDT 07/24/14
You may be interested in this article from the National Snow and Ice Data Center on what's happening in the Antarctic. http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
Posted by Bryce Anderson at 10:15AM CDT 07/24/14
Bryce, Thanks to you and all DTN weather team. Providing you best guess is all the client base can reasonably expect. We are all guilty of certain biases and interpretations. The process of debate is always helpful and thought provoking. I also appreciate opposing views on some of the bigger climate issues included in the comment section. Allowing clients to voice their opinions is a hallmark of a democratic society.
Posted by McFly at 10:35AM CDT 07/24/14
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