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How Do You Prepare for El Nino? - 18th February 2014

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TheCropSite
Tuesday 18th February 2014.
Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor


Wyffels

5M

How Do You Prepare for El Nino?  

Greetings! I get to jump back to one of my favorite topics – weather! Two weeks ago I attended the National Cattleman's Beef Association meeting (NCBA) in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Dr. Art Douglas, Professor Emeritus at Creighton University, presented his 2014 weather outlook.

Dr. Douglas said weather patterns around the world are starting to shift toward a developing El Nino event moving in by mid-summer and growing stronger in the fall and winter. Since the demise of the last El Nino in early 2010, severe drought migrated across the central and western US.

Developing El Ninos favor warming across much of the US by the end of winter and into spring. Moisture is expected to improve from east Texas north into the Midwest, with above normal rainfall likely through the upper Midwest.

Planting in the western Corn Belt could be delayed due to excess moisture, while temperatures in the Midwest should remain warmer than normal through spring. In the drought-stricken West, precipitation is expected to slowly increase to normal levels by mid-February and reach above-normal levels in March.

After a warm mid-winter, temperature in the West will drop to below-normal levels March through May. Summer calls for fairly IDEAL CROP WEATHER across the Midwest with the only threat of drier weather being in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. Temperatures are likely to start warmer than normal in the Midwest and cool by late summer as El Nino effects increase.

The southwest monsoon typically starts earlier than normal with an El Nino but expect rainfall to decrease as a late summer drought reaches this region and Mexico.

Globally, Dr. Douglas said with a developing El Nino, expect drier weather for the next six months in Brazil, Australia and India. Argentina should see slow improvement in moisture conditions as the region approaches winter.

Forecasts for Asia suggest from February to May India and southern Asia will be wetter than normal, but moving into early May, early rains will be spread throughout India and portions of China.

“But more importantly, as you go into July to September, El Nino forecasts drought for most of India and a good portion of China. So don’t expect good growing conditions as you go into the summer season – we are likely to have major drought problems in west central India and the north China plains,” Dr. Douglas said.

For more from Dr. Douglas' global outlook, click here.  

Have a great week!

~Sarah


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