Big Swings Ahead for Planting, Growing and Harvest Season

Source: Jim Noel

As El Niño continues to weaken in the eastern Pacific Ocean the “rapid change” often leads to a wetting up as we discussed last time for a part of spring. This wetting up has occurred across Ohio in the last month with some areas wetter than others and could continue into May but to a lesser extent. The years where strong El Niño events came to an end in spring include 2016, 1998, 1982, 1973 and 1958. However, as we go into summer and autumn, there is a growing chance of a  La Niña returning which is opposite of El Niño. This swing in the ocean pattern will likely put some stress on Ohio crops this year.

Above normal temperatures are expected from May to autumn harvest with the warmth favoring nighttime minimum temperatures more than daytime maximum temperatures. There will likely be some 95+ degree days this summer but there is more of a chance of 75+ overnight temperatures. You can see the official summer temperature outlook by NOAA attached.

Rainfall will see significant swings the rest of this year. We are in a normally wet time of the year currently averaging 0.8-1.0 inch per week. We expect this wetness to last into May. However, as growing season arrives it appears there will be growing variability in the rainfall patterns. In addition,  we expect some dryness to expand as summer progresses and La Niña develops with confidence higher for dryness in June and August/September timeframes at this point. The extent of any summer/early autumn drought development needs to be monitored in the coming weeks.

Even though it is typical to still see some light freezes/frosts in April, most data suggests this is not likely as we go into May meaning a near normal last freeze for most of the state.

You can get all the official climate outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center at .

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