Forecast for a hot and dry summer
After the bitterly cold and snowy weather in February, a weather consultant is forecasting a warmup. Dr. Art Douglas is professor emeritus of atmospheric science at Creighton University. “Overall temperatures wise, not bad for fieldwork, early planting,” he says. “And quite good for feedlot operations in the Plains.”
He says opportunities for moisture will be few and far between this spring. “If we don’t get the moisture, then notice as we get into April and May the western United States really turns dry,” he says. “And that dryness keeps trying to hug the western portion of the Corn Belt.”
Douglas says much of the US will be in a very hot and dry pattern this summer. “A very hot summer from the Mexican border north through the Rockies and western Plains, extending over into the northwest Corn Belt,” he says. “About the only moisture to speak of for the continent, is over in the Ohio Valley and up along the Canadian border from northeast North Dakota into Minnesota.”
He says cooler temperatures will provide some relief as fall arrives in the western Corn Belt. “But, the problem is if we look at the precipitation, it stays dry, if not anything it stays drier,” he says. “I think we’re going to have some problem with the crop in terms of filling both corn and beans.” Douglas says drought conditions will likely persist in the west, creating inadequate grazing conditions.
He made his remarks during the Cattle Industry Convention’s Winter Reboot this week.