Be ready for a colder and snowier winter versus recent years
Persistent drought in the West had producers yearning for precipitation all year. The solution might come in the form of winter weather events, according to some ag meteorologists.
The back-half of December, which quickly turned cold, will continue into January, says Bret Walts, lead ag meteorologist at BAMWX.
“High pressure above the high-latitude areas will likely allow colder-than-normal temperatures to persist across the northern and eastern U.S. for January,” he says. “This looks to be a pattern that is a bit less favorable for snow in the Plains but will remain active in the winter storm department across the East.”
In February, Walts predicts the southeastern U.S. will warm up, as the below-normal temperature levels will stay in the central and western portions of the U.S.
“This should set the stage for an active month of winter weather for the Plains and Midwest, with frequent bouts of very cold air in the Northern Plains,” he says.
However, Walts says February will find the eastern third of the country might start to get some tastes of spring with a warmer March on the way in the East.
Cold Temperatures to Start 2023
Frigid temperatures are forecast to be widespread during the first two months of 2023, according to data from BAMWX.
LACKLUSTER LA NIÑA
As spring moves in, the La Niña pattern will lose its hold, according to Drew Lerner, senior ag meteorologist at World Weather.
“La Niña is a five-month running mean of sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean,” Lerner says. “Because of this definition, La Niña will remain in place long after sufficient weakening has happened, allowing weather patterns to begin influencing world weather. This is where some forecasters and analysts get the forecast wrong.”
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
Lerner says in January, La Niña will be on its way out, paving the way for a potential neutral pattern. This shift will bring wetter weather to the Great Plains and western Corn Belt in February and March, with some relief in late January.
While there will be some beneficial precipitation in the winter months, Lerner says it will yield mild soil moisture improvement.
In the Plains and western Corn Belt, Lerner expects relief in late winter and early spring, followed by dryness. “I think that’ll have a huge influence on the marketplace and spring planting,” he says.