30 Day Ag Weather Outlook MD – VA – TN – NC – SC (7pm, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017)

— Written By Barclay Poling
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Good evening!

We’re back!  Each Sunday from today (Feb 12) through mid-May, we will be bringing strawberry growers in the region of Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina,  these weekly  30 Day Ag Weather Outlooks.

  • OUR MOST SINCERE THANKS to the good folks at Aarons Creek Farms (Buffalo Jct, VA); Cottle Strawberry Nursery (Faison, NC); and Westech Agriculture Ltd (Alberton, PEI, Canada), for their generosity in  supporting this custom forecast product.

Part 1 – Spring Seasonal Outlook:

As a general Spring seasonal outlook for March to May 2017, we expect that the forecast region will be generally warmer and wetter than normal for the period  Mar – May 2017. The storm track and position of the semi permanent Atlantic high pressure system will tend to promote warm and moist southerly flow from the Southeastern states into the Mid-Atlantic states during the period. With the abundant moisture and expected precipitation during this period, expect that there will be a tendency for the minimum temperatures to be well above normal, with the high temperature averaging only slightly above normal.

For the remainder of February, we expect to see a very active weather pattern in the eastern half of the US with low pressure systems and accompanying front systems passing through the forecast region every 2-4 days. This will cause precipitation and transitions from colder to warmer back to colder every  2-4 days. With the really cold air locked up near the arctic circle, the temperatures will tend to be warm enough for most of the precipitation that falls to be rain for the remainder of this month. The temperatures for the remainder of February will tend to be on average slightly above the seasonal norm, but will tend to go back and forth between slightly above to slightly below average.

There are mixed signals as we head into March. Some of the large scale  atmospheric forcing would indicate a switch to colder than normal temperatures, while other large scale forcings indicate a trend of slightly above normal temperature. Our best estimate at this point is that the swings from “slightly colder” to “slightly warmer to cold” will continue into March with frequent passages of low pressure systems. Expect the overall tendency to be slightly colder than normal for the forecast region especially the second half of the month of March. Expect precipitation amounts to be slightly above normal for the season.

Part 2 – Weather Outlook MD – VA – TN – NC – SC (18-Feb through 26-Feb)

Chart. 1. Forecast valid through 2/16

Chart 2. Forecast valid through 2/19

Forecast discussion day 6 – 8:  (18 Feb – 20 Feb) Temperatures near to slightly above normal; with mostly dry conditions until very late in the period. A large high pressure system will slowly move through the area from west to east bringing mostly fair conditions with seasonably mild  temperatures. Some precipitation may move into the western portion of region very late in the period. Expect high temperatures to range from the mid 40s to mid 50s. Low temperatures ranging from the upper 20s to upper 30s. Precipitation amounts will likely be near zero except the extreme western portions of the region when up to 0.25” is possible.

Chart 3. Forecast valid through  2/22

Forecast discussion day 9 – 11:  (21 Feb – 23 Feb) Temperatures cool to near to slightly below normal; widespread rain likely early to mid period with scattered showers late in the period.  A large high pressure system will slowly move east of the region as a low pressure system forms in the lower Ohio Valley and moves east into the forecast area by early in the  period. This will allow for seasonable temperatures and rain to develop by early in the  period. Expect the rain as intermittent showers to linger into mid period. Expect a slight cooling trend after the low moves east of the region, so expect slightly below average temperature by late in the period. Expect high temperatures to range from the low 40s to low 50s. Low temperatures ranging from the upper 20s to low 30s. Precipitation amounts will likely in the 0.60 – 0.90”  range.

Chart 4. Forecast valid through  2/24

Forecast discussion day 12 – 14:   (24 Feb – 26 Feb) Temperatures cool to near to slightly below normal; scattered rain/snow early to mid period. Expect a weak low pressure system to form in the LA Gulf region and move east-northeast through the forecast area by early to mid-period. This will cause a large area of intermittent rain and perhaps some snow in the very northwestern sections of the forecast region by early in the period that will linger into the middle of the period. Expect temperatures to be near the seasonal norm early and then to average slightly below average by mid to late in the period. Expect high temperatures to range from the low 40s to low 50s. Low temperatures ranging from the upper 20s to low 30s. Precipitation amounts will likely in the 0.30 – 050” range.

Part 3 – Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks  (27 Feb – 13 Mar)

Outlook discussion day 15 – 22:     (27 Feb – 5 Mar) Early indications are that temperatures and precipitation will be above the seasonal average during this period. Outlook discussion day 23 – 30:  (6 Mar – 13 Mar) Early indications are that temperatures and precipitation will also be above the seasonal average during this period.

You can download this advisory from this pdf file: Feb 12, 2017 30 Day Ag Weather Outlook MD – VA – TN – NC – SC – Google Docs