30 Day Ag Weather Outlook MD – VA – TN- NC – SC (11:15am, Monday, March 20, 2017)

— Written By Barclay Poling

In this advisory

1. Introduction – short term.expect another cold spell in the later part of the upcoming week

2. Discussion of four 3-day periods from 22 March through 2 April

  • 22 Mar – 24 Mar: Temperatures start well below normal then end near to above normal; widespread showers early and widely scattered rain showers late in the period.
  • 25 Mar – 27 Mar:Temperatures warm to above  normal then fall back to near normal late in the period; wide spread rain (snow in the higher elevations in  the northwest sections of the region) all  period.
  • 28 Mar – 30 Mar: Temperatures warm to above normal; widespread rain showers likely with possible strong thunderstorms late in the period.
  • 31 Mar – 2 Apr:Temperatures stay above normal; scattered rain showers late in the period.

3. Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks (GRAPHS) 3 Apr – 18 Apr

4. Outlook Discussions for 3 Apr -10 Apr, and 11 Apr – 18 Apr

5.Items of Interest, including Spring 2017 Outlook

1. Introduction

The  factors currently affecting the weather are complex and competing in terms of forcing colder or warmer conditions in the strawberry  forecast region of MD-VA-TN-NC-SC. But there are some subtle sea surface temperature trends in the Eastern Pacific  that  we expect on the long term will  help push the weather patterns  in the forecast region towards warm and somewhat drier conditions.

On the short term we have at least one more very cold spell in store for the entire forecast region the later part of the upcoming week.  But there are now strong indications that by next weekend the large scale pattern is shifting towards one that favors  a warming trend for the forecast region.

On the longer term, the seasonal forecasts continue to be uncertain because some large  scale forcing factors favor above normal temperatures conditions and some favor below normal temperatures in the eastern US. If the previously mentioned Pacific sea surface trend continue and the ENSO cycle remains near neutral as we expect, in our  opinion  the  balance of all the factors will favor warmer and drier conditions for the that April to May time frame in the forecast region.

2. Discussion of four 3-day periods from 22 March through 2 April

Forecast discussion day 3 – 5  (22 Mar – 24 Mar) Temperatures start well below normal then end near to above normal; widespread showers early and widely scattered rain showers late in the period.  Early in the period a strong cold front followed by a cold high pressure system, once again will bring the temperatures well below normal.  By the end of the period the high pressure will move off shore allowing a southwest flow to develop over the enter forecast region, rapidly warming temperatures back to normal  or even  somewhat above normal.. Early in the period, expect high temperatures to range from the mid 30s in the north to low 50s in the south. Low temperatures ranging from the upper 30s to low 20s.  Late in the period expect high temperatures to range from the upper 40s in the north to mid 60s in the south. Low temperatures ranging from the low 30s to low 40s. Widespread showers are expected early period, the mostly dry mid period followed by widely scattered rain showers late in the period. Precipitation amounts will likely in the 0.15 – 0.30” range” range.

Climatology:   

Station High T Low T   Station High T Low T
Charlottesville VA 52 32 Greensboro NC 55 34
Richmond VA 54 34 Asheville, NC 54 33
Roanoke VA 53 33 Charlotte, NC 59 37
Hillsville VA 51 28 Fayetteville, NC 60 35
Salisbury, MD 52 32 Aberdeen, MD 49 32

Forecast discussion day 6 – 8:  (25 Mar – 27 Mar) Temperatures warm to above  normal then fall back to near normal late in the period; wide spread rain (snow in the higher elevations in  the northwest sections of the region) all  period Expect low pressure system with accompanying cold front to form in the upper Mississippi River Valley and move east through region during the period. Expect wide spread rain with snow in the higher elevations of the northwest section of the forecast region during this forecast look ahead period. Early in the period expect high temperatures to range from the upper 50s in the north to upper 70s in the south. Low temperatures ranging from the low 40s to low 50s. Late in the period expect high temperatures to range from the mid 40s to upper 60s. Low temperatures ranging from the low 30s in the extreme northwestern section of the region to mid 40s in the extreme southern sections of the region. Precipitation amounts will likely in the 0.50 – 1.00” range. 

Climatology:

Station High T Low T   Station High T Low T
Charlottesville VA 55 34 Greensboro NC 57 36
Richmond VA 57 35 Asheville, NC 56 35
Roanoke VA 56 35 Charlotte, NC 60 38
Hillsville VA 52 29 Fayetteville, NC 61 36
Salisbury, MD 55 34 Aberdeen, MD 51 33

Forecast discussion day 9 – 11:  (28 Mar – 30 Mar) Temperatures warm to above normal; widespread rain showers likely with possible strong thunderstorms 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 Mississippi Valley and moves east into the forecast area by late in the period. This will allow for above normal for the season temperatures all period and widespread rain showers and isolated thunderstorms (some of which could be strong) to develop by late in the period. Expect high temperatures to range from the upper 50s in the north to upper 70s in the south. Low temperatures ranging from the low 40s to low 50s Precipitation amounts will likely in be the 0.60 – 0.90” range. 

Climatology:   

Station High T Low T   Station High T Low T
Charlottesville VA 58 36 Greensboro NC 61 39
Richmond VA 60 37 Asheville, NC 58 37
Roanoke VA 58 37 Charlotte, NC 63 39
Hillsville VA 54 30 Fayetteville, NC 64 39
Salisbury, MD 56 35 Aberdeen, MD 53 34

Forecast discussion day 12 – 14:   (31 Mar – 2 Apr) Temperatures stay above normal; scattered rain showers late in the period. Expect a large warm “Bermuda” high pressure system to become stationary off of the Atlantic coast as a low pressure system forms in the lower Mississippi Valley and moves northeast into the forecast area by late in the period. This will allow for above normal for the season temperatures to continue all period with some scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms to develop by late in the period. Expect high temperatures to range from the upper 50s in the north to upper 70s in the south. Low temperatures ranging from the low 40s to low 50s Precipitation amounts will likely in the 0.10 – 0.25” range. 

Climatology:   

Station High T Low T   Station High T Low T
Charlottesville VA 65 42 Greensboro NC 67 44
Richmond VA 66 43 Asheville, NC 64 42
Roanoke VA 64 42 Charlotte, NC 68 44
Hillsville VA 59 34 Fayetteville, NC 69 44
Salisbury, MD 58 33 Aberdeen, MD 55 36

3. Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks (GRAPHS) 3 Apr – 18 Apr

Day 15 – 30 Temperature Outlook 3 Apr – 18 Apr

Day 15 – 30 Precipitation Outlook 3 Apr – 18 Apr

4. Outlook Discussions for 3 Apr -10 Apr, and 11 Apr – 18 Apr

Outlook discussion day 15 – 22: (3 Apr – 10 Apr) Early indications are that temperatures and precipitation will be above the seasonal average during this period. Outlook discussion day 23 – 30:  (11 Apr – 18 Apr) Early indications are that temperatures and precipitation will also be above the seasonal average during this period.
5.Items of Interest, including Spring 2017 Outlook, including General Seasonal Outlook Mar – May 2017

The long term atmospheric signals are still mixed in terms of forcing either colder or warmer conditions over the next two months. But there are some subtle sea surface temperature trends in the Eastern Pacific that we expect will help push the weather patterns in the strawberry forecast region towards warm and somewhat drier conditions. So we expect the temperature for the forecast region to be generally warmer than normal with precipitation close to normal for the period April-May 2017. The indications are that there will be two moderately active storm tracks. A northern track off of the Pacific with two branches that will tend to converge and weaken in the upper Mississippi River Valley and a southern track that moves out of the Gulf region. The southern track will see most storms go out to sea, but a few will head up the coast into New England.

Items of Interest
Comparison of weather outlook for April 2017 from left to right: Harris-Mann Climatology, US NOAA Climate Prediction Center and Canadian Climate prediction center. Note that that for the strawberry forecast region, the Harris-Mann outlook is showing cooler and wetter conditions as compared to normal, with the NOAA and Canadian outlooks showing trends for warmer than normal for temperature and near normal conditions for precipitation. The difference in outlooks is due to the competing forcing mechanisms in the atmosphere and the amount of weighting each outlook method gives to the various forcing mechanisms. Thus currently we have the situation of having more than usual uncertainty for forecast that go out more than a week.