By: Jim Noel, National Weather Service. For OSU Extension CORN newsletter.
Current Conditions…Soil moisture conditions remain wet due to last years very wet conditions along with an overall damp winter. Current soil moisture conditions can be found at the NOAA/NWS website: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Soilmst_Monitoring/US/Soilmst/Soilmst.shtml#
What it shows is Ohio is ranked anywhere from the top 5-25% of wettest years on record for soil wetness depending on where you are in Ohio. This is slightly drier than at the same time last year but bottom line it is still wet. The last 30-days of rainfall is generally between 90-140% of normal across Ohio. The extreme northwest corner of Ohio has been running at about 80% of normal. About 75% of the state has been running wetter than normal the last 30 days with about 25% a little drier than normal. You can get all the latest information on precipitation at 4 km resolution at: https://water.weather.gov/precip/ This data is quality controlled by humans at the river forecast centers like OHRFC.
Future Conditions…The outlook for the rest of March calls for slightly above normal temperatures with much above normal rainfall. Temperatures for the week of March 16 will be above normal but with big temperature swings. Temperatures will likely run a little colder than normal the week of March 23.
Rainfall will average 1.75 to 3.50 inches for the remainder of March, see NOAA/NWS/OHRFC attached image. Normal for that period is 1.5 to 2.0 inches.
For April expect above normal temperatures and above normal rainfall.
For May expect above normal temperatures with a gradual turn from wetter than normal to normal rainfall.
Frost/Freeze Outlook…Indications are even with somewhat above normal temperatures expected overall this spring, there is enough swings in the pattern to expect about a normal last frost/freeze across the state.
Soil Temp Outlook…Soil Temperatures are running mainly in the 30s north of I-70 and in the 40s to the south of I-70. Temperatures due to the winter have generally been above normal. However, we expect them to trend close to normal due to the high amount of water in the soils. Therefore, even if air temperatures run somewhat above normal, evaporation off the wet soils will keep ground temperatures close to normal as we go into the growing season.
For summer, indications still remain a gradual turn from wetter to drier with warmer than normal conditions.
Climate Outlook Websites…You can see all the latest climate outlooks at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov For the latest Water Resources Outlooks for soil conditions, floods etc, you can monitor the NWS Ohio River Forecast Center Page at: https://www.weather.gov/ohrfc/WRO