Hot, stormy summer possible

A senior science fellow with Nutrien Ag Solutions says a hot, stormy summer is likely across much of the Midwest.

Eric Snodgrass tells Brownfield atmospheric pressure in the western United States will dictate a lot of the forecast.

“If the heat really builds into the western United States early, that’s a better chance for much of the Midwest to get through most of the summer with good thunderstorm activity,” he says. “Here’s the problem: if you build a big ridge in the western United States and we get storms that cascade over the ridge, there will be places with perfect rains and other areas that get missed.”

Snodgrass says a weather pattern shift could happen as early as mid-June and for many crop farmers that means “it’s a whole new crop management strategy when we get into this regime.”

He says summer weather in the Delta is more of a wildcard.

“This will be one of those summers it will be more dicey. If the storms come through, they’ll be in great shape. If they don’t ride over the ridge in the west, the area could slip into drought. And here’s what’s nuts: the Delta can get hurricane moisture that dumps up to 10 inches of rain. All of a sudden, you can go from drought to flood.”

Snodgrass says a transition to La Nina is underway and Midwest farmers can expect a few more storms followed by warm, drier conditions before mid-June.

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