Menu

Spring Weather Outlook: Warmer Than Normal, but Extent of Wetness Less Certain

Farmers should expect temperatures warmer than normal during planting season just a few weeks from now, but how much rain they might encounter isn’t as clear, the Indiana State Climate Office says.

The spring weather outlook by the climate office, based at Purdue University, begins with a very warm and wetter-than-normal first half of March.

Expected to follow from the second half of this month through the next several weeks are temperatures slightly warmer than normal, with a mixed signal that suggests parts of the state will have above-normal, normal or below-normal precipitation. Corn and soybean crops typically are planted in April and May.

“Warmer-than-normal temperatures during this period could mean greater potential for storms,” said Dev Niyogi, state climatologist. “But it also could mean swings in very wet to dry periods between heavy rains.”

The climate office issues its season weather outlooks after analyzing data from the U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center .

Although early warm weather might tempt farmers to get into their fields right away, Purdue Extension agronomist Tony Vyn said they should be wary about running tractors and tillage implements in wet conditions, which could cause soil compaction before planting.

“Warmer early temperatures tend to encourage earlier planting, but don’t compromise soil structure in the rush to plant,” Vyn advised.

Indiana has been warmer and drier than normal this winter in part because of El Niño, a warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean surface temperature above normal.

This El Niño is one of the strongest on record, said Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist. This past December in Indiana was the warmest December on record, at 11.1 degrees above normal.

The climate office expects El Niño conditions to fade from Indiana in late spring or early summer.

“Even though El Niño is now weakening, its impact should persist a little longer,” Scheeringa said. El Niño typically routes major storms with their heavier precipitation further south across the United States.

Source: Purdue University 

Recent News

If you Have Not Been Scouting Corn, Now Is the Time to Start
7/14/2020

Most of Illinois this season has been hot and dry, especially through central and northern portions of the state .  This has been good as far as limiting foliar diseases in our corn crop.  Fungi require some level of moisture for spores to germinate, and the fungus to grow and infect foliage.  This is a major reason […]

Soybean Demand Linked to Economic Recovery
7/14/2020

Wet and warm conditions over some key soybean growing regions pressured soybean prices recently.  The prospect of a good soybean crop places added emphasis on demand over the next year.  Soybean consumption in 2020-21 shows a substantial increase driven mostly by expanded exports in the recent WASDE report.  A robust recovery in domestic and world […]

Western Corn Rootworm Beetles Emerging, Time to Scout
7/13/2020

Western corn rootworm beetles began emerging in southeast and south central Nebraska at the end of June. Beetles typically emerge somewhat later in northeastern and western Nebraska. Beetles emerging before silk emergence may feed on corn leaves. They feed by scraping the surface tissue, leaving a white parchment-like appearance. Once silks emerge, they become the […]

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now