If you like the weather this year, you’re in luck. If you’ve had enough of 2011’s weather patterns, you may not be happy.
Jeff Doran, Sr. meteorologist with Planalytics, says the weather patterns that have brought drought to the south and southwest, torrential rains to the northern plains, and cool wetness to the Pacific Northwest will persist throughout the remainder of the growing season.
In the Corn Belt, conditions remain ripe for continued flooding along the Missouri River as the heat dome centered over Texas will push moisture in the Northern Plains. "In the Eastern Corn Belt, there’s some better news. Obviously there was a late start to planting this year, but we’re starting to see the crop put on growing degree units. We think the next several weeks look favorable to getting the corn to grow."
However, that late planting brings concerns now about an early freeze. Even a normal freeze this year would not be welcome news for growers east of the Mississippi. "If you look back at years where we have a 2nd year La Nina, we have 12 years that fit under this scenario, 10 of those have had early freezes over parts of the Corn Belt."
For example, the indications are for a normal freeze in Central Indiana and Illinois, a normal freeze happens around October 1. The current patterns Planalytics is watching indicate a strong possibility that a freeze could occur there even a week to 10 days earlier than normal.
In the south and southwest there is "not much potential for moisture on the horizon," Doran says. With the outlook for an active hurricane season in the Atlantic this could bring some welcome relief. Doran sees the most potential for active hurricanes in the southeast and the Mid-Atlantic regions and into the Mid-South. Timing then becomes a factor as to whether the moisture brings help the cotton crop, or damage if bolls have opened.
And while hurricanes can be devastating, they can bring welcome relief from drought with heavy rainfall. Unfortunately for those in the hardest hit drought areas of Texas and the rest of the Southwest, hurricane potential is less likely in the western reaches of the Gulf of Mexico. The dry conditions will likely spread north and west into parts of Missouri and Southwest Iowa, he says.