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Unseasonable Midwest warmth brings back memories of 2012

Warmer temperatures have Midwest farmers thinking about fieldwork and recalling another recent mild late winter. 

Eric Snodgrass, chief science fellow at Nutrien Ag Solutions, says the unseasonably warm and dry conditions have raised concerns…

“It is likely going to be one of the warmest winters on record here in the Midwest.” He says, “And so I know this has a lot of folks thinking, ‘Hey, I remember the last time this happened, it was 2012. Do we need to be worried?’”

2012 saw one of the worst droughts in recent Midwest history, but Snodgrass tells Brownfield there are some differences this year…

“Certainly, the year leading up to it was much different.”  He says, “So ’11 to ‘12 was much different than ‘23 into ‘24. And the big difference is the North Pacific.”

He says the North Pacific indicators are not lining up the way they did in 2012…

“2012 had already seen very cold water in the North Pacific. We just don’t have that this year.”  He says, “In fact, I just want to make a point that there’s not strong evidence of massive drought building into the Midwest this year.”

Snodgrass says a better comparison year with a fading El Nino condition in the Pacific would be 2016. 

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