The cold and stormy spring season will likely persist into the first half of May and then all attention will be focused on the expected summer pattern across the USA. After a very rough winter and spring for beef producers across the nation, many are hoping that we can have a moderate summer with no major deviations from summertime averages.
As we head into the summer season we will continue to be concerned about flooding in portions of the Plains, Midwest and Corn Belt as elevated streamflow and expected early summer rains will continue to be a concern.
One major concern as we head into every summer season is whether or not we might have drought conditions developing or areas of the nation that will experience heat waves. As we examine the outlook for summer there are several patterns, we are watching closely that will have an impact on how the summer weather pattern will unfold.
Soil moisture is critical regarding temperature as we begin the summer season. If the ground is dry then the odds of a hot, dry summer pattern increases as dry soils easily warm and heat that is lost to the evaporation of soil moisture goes right into the air making for hot early summer temperatures. Therefore, a dry spring can lead to summer drought in some areas (especially in the central and west).
The graphic below shows precipitation across the nation since January 1st. Green, blue and purple areas show where above normal precipitation has fallen. As you can see, a large of part of the USA has had am moist start to 2019.
Enhanced soil moisture will reduce some of the drought threat heading into the summer season. Another factor is the resurgence of the El Nino at the end of the winter season and early spring. As the El Nino fades early this summer it will still likely impact late spring temperatures (cooler) as well as bringing an increased chance for early summer rains in many areas.
The warmest temperatures this summer will be in the far west and far eastern areas of the nation. The Pacific Northwest south to the Desert Southwest may have a slightly above normal temperature pattern this summer. Warmer than normal temperatures may also be found along the East Coast and southeastern states.
Across the Rockies, Plains, Midwest and Corn Belt temperatures are expected to be near to below normal from June through August. At this point in time, temperatures this summer in most of the key ag areas of the central USA are not expected to support any drought development or prolonged spells of hot weather.
The coolest temperatures relative to normal will likely be found in the western High Plains and Rockies.
A large part of the nation is likely going to have near to above normal precipitation during the summer season, especially from the Rockies to the Plains to the Corn Belt. The southeastern states will likely also receive higher than normal rainfall. The enhanced summer rain may cause flooding concerns well into July in some areas.
With no extreme heat expected and near to above average rainfall in many locations the development of drought is low this summer season.