30 Day Ag Weather Outlook MD – VA – TN- NC – SC (2:20pm, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016)
Dear Growers, Agents, Agronomists and Others,
There is now more consensus on the general temperature and precipitation forecasts for the next 30 days. In general, there will be above average temperatures in our growing region through Feb 3, then much colder starting on the 4th. Initially temperatures drop to near normal for a couple of days or so, then drop further to about 10 F below normal. Expect temperatures to stay below normal for a few days before rebounding back to near or slightly above normal. Just below, please note that at Clayton, Central Crops, we will drop on Feb 4th to a minimum of 42 F in canopy, and by Sat Feb 6th, it will be 24 F.
Table 1. Seven day forecast for Clayton Central Crops – note big drop in temp 2/6/16
It is expected that this basic cycle will repeat every 3 – 5 days through February. We expect above normal precipitation. We also expect temperatures to be below normal from Feb 4 – 29. We have high confidence of this from Feb 4 – 14 as supported by the latest dynamical model forecasts and the CPC 8 – 14 Day Outlook probability forecasts (Fig 2).
Fig. 2. Latest CPC 8 – 14 Day Outlook probability forecast. There is a high probability for below normal temperatures in the eastern half of the US. However, we wish to emphasize that we don’t see any temperature extremes similar to what we saw last year (2015), and expect there will be a day or two when temperatures will go above normal during the period.
2nd half of February
During the second half of the month, it is still appears to favor a colder than normal pattern. The extended forecast model runs for the end of the month show a similar pattern to last year, but not as cold in the eastern US. Note the Climate Predictions Center’s 15 – 30 Day Temp outlook Map (Fig. 7), shows equal chance for an average of above or below normal temperatures for later half of Feb. But this does not rule out a short surge of very cold arctic air at some point near the end of February.
To sum things up, the next 30 days look to be a period of colder than normal temperatures, but on the whole not as cold as last year. It will be an active weather period with low pressure and cold frontal systems moving through the area every 3 – 5 days. As the weather systems move through the region, they will produce periods of warming and precipitation ahead, so expect overall above average precipitation amounts, then a longer duration colder period after the cold front passage.
Forecast discussion day 3 – 5: (03 Feb – 05 Feb) Temperatures above normal early, then cooling late in the period; showers mid period. Temperatures are expected be 15 – 20 F above normal as very warm for the season air moves into the region ahead of a low pressure system and cold front that will form to the west and move through the region late in the period. The low pressure is expected to form in Oklahoma-Arkansas region and track northeast to the Great Lakes and finally into Nova Scotia. This track of the low will bring the accompanying cold front through the region late in the period. Ahead of the front, temperatures will be warm for the season, so the precipitation that falls will primarily be rain showers and even some scattered thunderstorm activity. Early in the period, high temperatures are expected to range from the low upper 50s in the far northern sections to low 70s in the southeastern sections and lows temperatures in the upper 30s to low 50s. Late in the period, high temperatures are expected to cool and range from the upper 30s to near 50 and lows in the mid 20s to mid 30s. Precipitation amounts expected to be in the 0.30” – 0.50” range.
Forecast discussion day 6 – 8: (06 Feb – 08 Feb) Temperatures below normal; mostly dry. Temperatures are expected to cool during this period as a cold high pressure moves into the area from Canada. With high pressure dominating the region for the period, expect the period to be mostly dry. Slight warming expected by late in the period. During the period, high temperatures are expected to range from the low 40s to near 50 and lows in the mid 20s to low 30s. Precipitation amounts expected to be in the 0.00” – 0.10” range.
Forecast discussion day 9 – 11: (09 Feb – 11 Feb) Temperatures start slightly below normal, warm to slightly above normal then drop to well below normal; rain/snow mid-late in period. Temperatures are expected to start on the cool side but warm during this period ahead of a low pressure system and cold front. The current forecast is for the low to move southeast out of the Dakotas and track to the southern Great Lakes then move east into New England. Temperatures will warm ahead of the low to near or even slightly above normal. A period of moderate rain will likely occur mid period starting off as rain except for some snow in the higher elevations , but then change to snow as cold air moves back into the region behind a cold front. Early in the period, high temperatures are expected to range from the low 40s to low 50s and lows in the mid 20s to low 30s. Mid period, high temperatures are expected to range from the mid 40s to near 60 and lows in the mid 30s to mid 40s. Late in the period, high temperatures are expected to range from the high 20s to low 40s and lows in the low 10s to low 20s. Precipitation amounts expected to be in the 0.50” – 1.00” range.
Forecast discussion day 12 – 14: (12 Feb – 14Feb) Temperatures stay below normal but warm slightly by end of the period; periods of occasional snow/rain. Temperatures are expected to remain significantly below normal early in the period as a cold high moves into the region from the Northwest. Expect periods of light snow with rain in the southern half and along the coast late in the period ahead of a low pressure system moving from west to east through the region. Slight warming expected by late in the period, but temperatures remain below normal. Some periods of light snow or rain in extreme southeastern corner of the region. Early in the period, high 20s to low 40s and lows in the low 10s to low 20s . Late in the period, high temperatures are expected to range from the low 40s to low 50s and lows in the mid 20s to low 30s. Precipitation amounts expected to be in the 0.05” – 0.15” range.
Updated: 29 Jan 2016
Outlook discussion day 15 – 22: (15 Feb – 22 Feb): Expect temperatures to be slightly below average with above average precipitation. Indications are this period will see slightly below average temperatures for the period. Expect an active storm track along the eastern US seaboard with periods of widespread precipitation. The possibility exist for a few days to have well below normal temperatures during this timeframe.
Outlook discussion day 23 – 30: (23 Feb – 01 Mar): Expect temperatures to continue to be slightly below average with above average precipitation.Early indications are temperatures stay slightly below the seasonal average with periods of widespread precipitation continuing.