Wake-Up Weather for February 5, 2009

Published on: 09:44AM Feb 05, 2009
Produced by Storm Exchange, Inc

Badly needed rain on tap in California: Showers are just beginning in California today, the start of a rainy weather pattern that will last for a week.  The San Joaquin Valley known for vegetable, citrus and cotton  production is expected to receive at least  2 inches of rainfall with recurring showers.  Reservoirs have been badly depleted  due to inadequate winter rainfall most years in the 2000s. The US Drought Monitor claims that drought is severe in the Central Valley and extreme in Northern California.

Frost in Florida citrus groves: Widespread frost developed in central Florida last night producing nearly 6 hours of sub-freezing temperatures in citrus groves that is a top industry in the state’s economy. Patchy frost extended down into Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers Beach, while Miami temperatures bottomed out near 37ºF.  Fruit that is frozen can still be used for processing into orange juice concentrate, but it will spoil if it is not picked immediately.

Two chances for rain in hard red winter wheat: Not very much rainfall is expected in a fast-moving storm Sunday, but wheat farms in the Southern Plains will have another chance for rain next week, when a second weather disturbance spins out of a trough in Southwest United States on  Wednesday. Between two storms, rainfall may add up to 1 inch or more in West Texas, where drought is most severe.

Strong warming in Midwest: Much warmer and wetter weather is predicted in the Midwest by the weekend.  Peoria, Illinois, temperatures will be rising more than 35ºF, from a high of 19ºF yesterday to 55ºF on Saturday.  Strong warming feels like an El Nino influence may be kicking into gear, but it is too early to pass judgment on that subject, since we cannot tell whether this is a short-term fluctuation.

Snow melt plus rain equals flooding: Waves of rain showers will be developing in the Midwest beginning Saturday and again the middle of next.  Massive snowmelt and rainfall would not not be able to penetrate frozen fields and will run off.   The forecast keeps looking wetter for next week and now indicates that 1.5 to 2 inches of rainfall may develop between 2 storms.

Argentina drought damage: The agriculture minister in Argentina said that soybeans continue to struggle and that growth of early sown beans was stunted by drought.  Late planted soybeans did all germinate properly.  This information points to a lower production estimate.  Late summer rainfall after an historic drought will rescue soybeans in hard hit areas of Santa Fe, Entre Rios and Buenos Aires.  Our soybean production estimate of 42-43 million tons represented a 10% cut in the yield, but damage may be even worse.  

Recent rain boosted field moisture: Argentina’s grain belt received moderate to heavy rainfall in frequent thunderstorms the past few days.  All together rainfall amounts have been significant in the past 10 days adding up to 2-3 inches in Santa Fe and Cordoba.  The forecast is trending drier for the next several days.  Only a 30% risk of showers is indicated in isolated storms.

South Brazil waiting for rain: Rio Grande do Sul and Parana soybeans need rain to supply crop needs during pod filling.  A long stretch of dryness in the past 12 days has depleted ground moisture.  Rainfall chances will improve to 80% on Sunday.

Produced by Storm Exchange, Inc