30 Day Ag Weather Outlook MD – VA – TN- NC – SC (Sunday, March 5, 2017)

— Written By Barclay Poling
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Dear Growers, Agents, Agronomists and Friends,

The upcoming week will be an active weather period. There is reasonable model agreement and high confidence in the forecasts for the forecast regions until about  March 13.

On Monday, Mar 6 we expect to see a strong, cold high pressure off the Mid Atlantic coast with southwesterly flow and milder temperatures developing across the forecast region Monday and Tuesday. A cold front approaches the region from the west late Tuesday and crosses the area late Tuesday night into Wednesday bringing showers and cooler temperatures to the region. High pressure and clear skies then return Thursday with a slow warming trend starting Friday and lasting through the weekend.

After March 13 there is considerable difference in forecasts among the US, Canadian and European models and there have been changes from model forecasts run-to-run. One set of model forecast solutions has a storm track moving up the Mississippi River Valley into Canada bringing above normal temperatures to the forecast region. The other set of model forecast solutions has a storm track moving up the east coast bringing stormy conditions and below normal temperatures to the forecast region.

At this time, we lean to the colder solution because of the current large scale forcing mechanisms currently in place that were discussed in the seasonal outlook last week. But at this time there is considerable uncertainty, more than usual, in the forecast beyond one week. It is quite obvious that the current longer range forecasts are quite sensitive to initial conditions. We think at least one reason for this is the strong thermal gradient that has set up between the snow covered land area in Canada and the bare ground in the US. This strong gradient tends to increase the strength of the jet stream and cause very big differences in the weather pattern with a slight change in initial wind conditions. We think this sensitivity will lessen as the snow cover disappears in Canada over the next month, weakening the large-scale US thermal gradient and leading to a trend of slightly above normal temperatures by the April time frame.

Chart 1. Valid through 3/9 (Friday)

Forecast discussion day 3 – 5  (8 Mar – 10 Mar) Temperatures start slightly above normal then cool to below normal; widespread rain showers with scattered thunderstorms likely early-mid period with scattered showers late in the period. Temperatures start above normal, but a cold front will move across the region early to mid-period cooling temperatures below normal by the end of the period. The cold front will bring widespread rain showers with scattered thunderstorms early to mid-period. By late in the period expect lingering scattered rain showers in the mountains with a mix of rain and snow showers in the extreme northern sections of the forecast region. 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 be in the 0.35 – 0.55” range.

Climatology:   

Station High T Low T   Station High T Low T
Charlottesville VA 50 31 Greensboro NC 54 33
Richmond VA 52 34 Asheville, NC 53 32
Roanoke VA 51 31 Charlotte, NC 58 37
Hillsville VA 48 27 Fayetteville, NC 59 35
Salisbury, MD 50 30 Aberdeen, MD 47 30

Chart 2. Valid through 3/12 (Sun)

Forecast discussion day 6 – 8:  (11 Mar – 13 Mar) Temperatures warm to above normal; scattered rain showers throughout the period. Expect a large complex low pressure system to form in the Great Plains region and move east-northeast west of the forecast region through the period. This will cause a general mild and moist southwesterly wind flow across the forecast region throughout the period. The southwesterly wind flow will cause above normal temperatures (especially the nighttime temperatures) and scattered showers (especially in the western portions of the forecast region) during the entire period. Expect high temperatures to range from the mid 50s to low 60s. Low temperatures ranging from the mid 30s to low 40s. Precipitation amounts will likely be in the 0.10 (eastern sections) – 0.60” (western sections) 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

Chart 3. Valid through 3/15 (Wed)

Forecast discussion day 9 – 11:  (14 Mar – 16 Mar) Temperatures cool to slightly below normal; widespread rain likely early to mid-period with clearing late in the period. A slow moving cold front will move through the region early to mid-period bringing widespread rain and cooling temperatures across the forecast region. Expect the front to be followed by a large high pressure system that will move into the region from the northwest late in the period. This will clear the skies and keep the temperatures below normal. 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 be in the 0.40– 0.65” 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

Chart 4. Valid through 3/18 (Sat)

Forecast discussion day 12 – 14:  (17 Mar – 19 Mar) Temperatures warm to near normal; rain along the coast early to mid period. Expect a low pressure system to form off the GA coast early to mid period and move northeast out to sea. Expect temperatures to warm to near the seasonal norm during period with rain along the coast early to mid-period. Expect high temperatures to range from the mid-50s to mid-60s. Low temperatures ranging from the upper 30s to low 40s. Precipitation amounts will likely be in the 0.30 – 050” range along the coast with lesser amounts inland.

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

Day 15 – 30 Temperature Outlook 20 Mar – 4 Apr

Day 15 – 30 Precipitation Outlook 20 Mar – 4 Apr

Outlook discussion day 15 – 22:     (20 Mar – 27 Mar) Early indications are that temperatures and precipitation will be near to slightly above the seasonal average during this period. Outlook discussion day 23 – 30:  (28 Mar – 4 Apr) Early indications are that temperatures and precipitation will also be above the seasonal average during this period.
Expect the forecast region to 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 promote warm and moist southerly flow from the Southeastern states into the Mid-Atlantic states during the period. With abundant moisture and expected precipitation, expect that there will be a tendency for the minimum temperatures to be well above normal and the high temperature averaging only slightly above normal.