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Agricultural News

Benefits of El Nino Delayed Until Later, Bryce Anderson Says

Fri, 14 Feb 2014 15:48:50 CST

Benefits of El Nino Delayed Until Later, Bryce Anderson Says
In the short term, it's going to be a cooler-than-normal spring across the Midwest while the Southwestern Plains will see warmer-than-normal temperatures. Any relief provided by an El Nino in the Pacific won't come until later. That's according to DTN Meteorologist Bryce Anderson. Anderson spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays at the Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

"Things are pretty well locked in right now with being on the below-normal temperature side and going into the true spring season I think what we're going to see is a pretty cool trend in the Midwest. Over the Southwestern Plains, I could see things getting warmer much quicker. We're starting to see some of that already. And, of course, unfortunately, because of the drier soils that we've got going on in the Southwestern Plains, that's going to allow those temperatures to warm up at a much faster rate."

Some forecast models have called for an El Nino condition to set up in the Pacific Ocean in late spring or early summer leading to milder temperatures and more rainfall in late summer. Anderson says he does see the possibility for an El Nino, but he believes the timing will be different.

"The analysis that we've done really looks like El Nino is going to be a later-developing feature and not really setting up until that July-August period especially. The U.S. forecast models show the Pacific temperatures rising to about a plus just under one degree Celsius above normal by late July or so. And the Australian forecast models are around half-a-degree Celsius above normal. That is really a weak feature. That's not a really substantial El Nino.

Without a strong El Nino, Anderson says temperatures during the growing season will tend to be above normal, but the precipitation across the entire central and eastern U.S. will be mostly below normal except for northern Iowa on into Minnesota.

"So I think there's some caution as we go into this season," he says.

As far as the Southern Plains are concerned, Anderson says he doesn't see a tremendous amount of relief in store in the way of moisture to rebuild pastures and cow herds decimated by drought.

"I know that Derrell Peel and Glenn Selk at Oklahoma State are really concerned about that- Even this last round of snow that we got during this week brought some benefit to Kansas, but it really didn't get into Oklahoma and Texas very much. As we think about the rest of this season, I really think it's going to be a hit and miss situation on the precipitation. Then you get into late summer and this fall and that's when the benefits of El Nino will really start to show up a little bit more."


DTN Meteorologist Bryce Anderson peers into his crystal ball for the upcoming growing season.
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