Spring Weather Outlook
February 16, 2023
Weather Update February 15, 2023
Winter has been trying to keep us shoveling in the Midwest, but in the East, folks have been golfing. In northern Ohio along I-80, tile lines are running as the frost has been almost non-existent this winter.
Current Drought Monitor
Looking at the drought map below, there has been little improvement west of the Mississippi River. Western Kansas winter wheat is suffering with some fields never emerging. Many growers have been chiseling fields to stop soil blowing. Recent rain and snow in the upper Mississippi have improved river levels so barge traffic is running again. Many reservoirs in the West have improved, and greater snowpack gives more optimism going into spring for this area.
The big question is La Nina: how fast will be the transition out, will we move to the El Nino phase, and what impact will it have on the dry West? Below you will see the various weather models each predicting we will move out of La Nina and into the neutral phase this spring and into summer. Planalytics predicts we will move into El Nino later this fall.
Looking Forward to Spring Plant
Heading into spring, we expect March and April to have similar weather patterns that include warmer than normal temperature and normal precipitation with the exception of the Ohio Valley catching extra moisture from storms moving up from the Gulf which could cause flood issues. The forecast does not include much relief for the dry West at this time.
The first look planting forecast is below. While MI, WI, and MN will go into the planting season with warmer and drier than normal conditions, there is a concern that the transition from La Nina to neutral will set the northern tier up for late season snow and freeze events which will delay planting. If we miss those, expect to be in the field on-time for planting.
During the transition phase, long–range weather models are less reliable. You can expect lots of excitement in the grain markets as we go into planting season with the dry West, wet East, and possible snow/freeze in the North.