Ag News

Iowa weather outlook for second half of April

IARN — Iowa farmers are already working in the fields for the 2021 spring planting season. State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan recently provided a weather outlook for the second half of the month.

Planting and field work slowed down a bit last week when some rain showers made their way through parts of the state. Glisan says we’re still locked in the La Nina phase of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.

“La Nina is the cold phase of El Nino which is the warm phase,” Glisan said. “Typically, with La Nina we see thunderstorm activity in the Pacific shifted further west. That impacts the jet stream location over the United States. What that means for us in April is higher probabilities of warmer than average temperatures, but also the classic La Nina signature in the precipitation field. Elevated probabilities of wetter than normal conditions across the Ohio Valley, and then getting into the High Plains and Desert Southwest, elevated probabilities of dryer than normal conditions. Iowa just happens to be right in the middle of that interface.”

Glisan takes a look at some of the current forecasts for the second half of April.

“We are seeing elevated probabilities of cooler than average conditions locked in with dryer than average conditions,” Glisan said. “Coming off these last few rain falls across the state, given the cooler conditions and those dryer conditions, it should be a pretty good planting window for farmers itching to get out into the fields. We do stress that we are still in the late season of frost and freeze. If we look at the outlooks from the 15th through the 20th of April, there is a slight probability that we will get temperatures below 32, especially across northwestern Iowa. That’s something always to keep in the back of a farmer’s mind in terms of the possibility of a late season frost or hard freeze.”

To stay up to date on the work from Glisan’s office, visit the Iowa Climatology Bureau’s website.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

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