Michigan Farm News

Weather Outlook: Jeff Andresen

Columnists, Markets & Weather

2018-09-06 181 Jeff Andresen | MSU Extension

Corn-Snow_MFN_11.16.18
The development of an upper air trough across central and eastern North America during the last week of October led to northwesterly flow across the Great Lakes region and to an extended period of early winter weather through much of the first half of November.

Mean temperatures for the mid-October through mid-November reporting period were well below normal statewide, generally ranging from 3-6ºF below the long term normals. The upper air pattern also led to an active storm track through the region, with measurable precipitation on more than half of the days in the 30-day reporting period in most sections of the state. 

Precipitation totals generally ranged from just under 2.00 across southeastern sections of the Lower Peninsula to more than 4.00” across western and northern sections of Lower Michigan and much of eastern Upper Michigan.

Given the colder than normal temperatures, a significant portion of the precipitation fell in the form of snow. Seasonal snowfall totals of more than 20” were reported by mid-November across some western section of Upper Michigan with snow depths exceeding one foot.

Overall, the cold, wet weather conditions were unfavorable for most outdoor fieldwork activities and slowed grain dry-down rates of unharvested corn. Harvest progress of both corn and soybean crops remains well behind average due to wetter than normal weather during much of the fall season.

Forecast guidance for the next few weeks suggests some de-amplification of the jet stream pattern across North America, which should result in some moderation of temperatures back to at least near normal levels. However, there are a greater than normal number of potential forecast directions from the guidance which collectively lead to lower than normal confidence in the outlooks.

The NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for the 3-month December through February period calls for warmer than normal mean temperatures and for below normal precipitation totals statewide, which is consistent with the expected development of El Nino conditions in the equatorial Pacific. 

Andresen is a professor of Meteorology/Climatology with Michigan State University’s Dept. of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences; MSUE specialist and the state climatologist for Michigan.

Markets & Weather

2018-11-15 181 Jeff Andresen | MSU Extension

Seasonably cool and drier weather developed across the Great Lakes region during late October, allowing a resumption and/or acceleration of fall harvest and fieldwork activities across Michigan. With a persistent troughing pattern in place during much of the latter half of October, temperatures fell to below normal values, slowing grain dry down and soil evaporation rates.

Mean temperatures for October ranged from near normal across far southern sections of the state along the Indiana and Ohio borders to more than 4oF below normal across northwestern sections. A hard freeze with widespread minimum temperatures in the mid-upper 20s effectively ended the growing season in many central and south- ern sections of the state on the 18th.

Precipitation for the month was generally above normal over most of the state except for far eastern sections, the result of the very active storm track through the Midwest region earlier in the month. Totals ranged from less than 2.00” across far eastern sections of the Lower Peninsula to more than 6.00” across western and north- ern sections of Lower Michigan and almost all of Upper Michigan. Heavy rainfall during the early fall across much of the central USA from the southern Great Plains north- eastward to the Great Lakes has led to extended fieldwork delays in many areas.

Not surprisingly, current soil moisture levels across much of this region (reaching into western and northern sections of Michigan) are ranked in the top 10% of highest values for this time of year. The latest Palmer Drought Severity Index map categorizes all of Michigan in abnormally moist categories except for the southeastern Lower Peninsula, which was near normal.

Short and long-term outlooks   

Most recent medium-range forecast guidance suggests a fairly typical fall-like jet stream pattern during the next few weeks, with the passage of a number of upper air disturbances, frequent chances for precipitation, and relatively large swings in temperature. Precipitation totals through mid-November are forecast to return to above normal levels. Collectively, these outlooks suggest challenges with remaining harvest activities.

Further ahead, most forecasts continue to call for the development of an El Nino event in the equatorial Pacific. Latest NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlooks for the month of November and for the 3-month November through January period both call for warmer than normal mean temperatures, with no forecast direction on precipitation totals.

Andresen is a professor of Meteorology/Climatology with Michigan State University’s Dept. of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences; MSUE specialist and the state climatologist for Michigan.

Columnists, Markets & Weather

2018-10-30 181 Jeff Andresen | MSU Extension

The jet stream flow across North America changed dramatically during mid-October, with the transition of the highly amplified western troughing/eastern ridging pattern of the past few weeks to a western ridging/ eastern troughing pattern. With northwest- erly flow across Michigan and the Great Lakes region, the change led to much cold- er temperatures and to at least a temporary end to the active, wet weather pattern of late September and early October.

Mean temperatures for the mid-Septem- ber through mid-October reporting period varied widely across the state and closely reflect the jet stream pattern that persisted for much of the same period, ranging from more than 5oF below normal across western sections of Upper Michigan to 4oF above normal in the far southern Lower Peninsula.

The rapid onset of colder weather result- ed in some of the first accumulating snow- fall of the season across northern sections of the state, although totals were generally light. The weather change also led to the first freezing temperatures of the season in many central and southern sections of the state on the 16th and 18th of October.

Total precipitation for the reporting period ranged from less than 2” across sections
of the southeastern Lower Peninsula to more than 6” across western and northern sections of Lower Michigan and almost all of Upper Michigan with more than 10” at a few spots in the Upper Peninsula. The heavy rainfall led to extended fall harvest and fieldwork delays in many areas. This weather scenario was also common across large sections of the Corn Belt region to our west and south.

Short-term outlook

In view of the recent stretch of challeng- ing weather conditions, and assuming that the upper air pattern with the recent jet stream change continues into late October, there is good and not so good news. The good news is that while occasional frontal passages will bring the threat of rain and snow, it should remain on the light side, with below normal totals in most areas.

On the less positive side, temperatures will likely remain at below normal levels, which will slow drying of crops and soils. Still, conditions for fieldwork should gradu- ally improve over the next couple of weeks. Medium range forecast guidance suggests a very fall-like pattern into early November, with some moderation in temperatures.

Long-term outlook

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center calls for a return of warmer-than-normal mean temperatures for the late fall and early win- ter time frame, with no forecast direction on precipitation totals. In the equatorial Pacific, sea surface temperatures have warmed in recent weeks, suggesting the development of an El Nino event during within the next 1-2 months. As a result, outlooks for the middle and late winter call for milder than normal mean temperatures and for normal to below normal precipitation totals.

Andresen is a professor of Meteorology/Climatology with Michigan State University’s Dept. of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences; MSUE specialist and the state climatologist for Michigan.

Columns

Weather Outlook: Warmer and drier days ahead…

Jeff Andresen | November 30, 2018

Jeff Andresen pngThe development of an upper air trough across central and eastern North America during the last week of October led to northwesterly flow across the Great Lakes region and to an extended period of early winter weather through much of the first half of November.

Field Focus- November 15, 2018

Welcome to the 2018 Field Focus feature. This year, six of our seven reporters are members of ProFile, a leadership development program of Michigan Farm Bureau. In each print edition of Michigan Farm News through the growing season, these young farmers will tell you about conditions on their farms and their regions. 

 

Weather Outlook: Above normal precipitation to continue

Jeff Andresen | November 15, 2018

Jeff Andresen pngSeasonably cool and drier weather developed across the Great Lakes region during late October, allowing a resumption and/or acceleration of fall harvest and fieldwork activities across Michigan. With a persistent troughing pattern in place during much of the latter half of October, temperatures fell to below normal values, slowing grain dry down and soil evaporation rates.


Drier days ahead for harvest?

Jeff Andresen | October 30, 2018

Jeff Andresen pngThe jet stream flow across North America changed dramatically during mid-October, with the transition of the highly amplified western troughing/eastern ridging pattern of the past few weeks to a western ridging/ eastern troughing pattern.

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