The NWS Climate Prediction Center released their latest seasonal forecasts today. Here are the results for Illinois. The biggest news is that Illinois has an increased chance of above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation for the winter months of December, January, and February. This forecast is based largely on the developing El Niño in the Pacific Ocean.
While the forecast of a milder winter may sound appealing, I would not leave the winter coat in the closet and throw away the snow shovel just yet. Two things to consider are: 1) this is not a 100% guarantee, other factors come into play in determining our winter weather, and 2) even a mild winter can contain short periods of intense cold and abundant snowfall.
More on the seasonal forecast
Continue reading “Latest Seasonal Forecasts for Illinois – A Mild Winter?”
According to the USDA, corn and soybean conditions in Illinois are not as good as the last two years.
The USDA NASS site has lots of interesting agricultural data, if you know where to look. One of the great reports they put out every week are the crop conditions in graphical form. Just click on a state and go.
In this first graph, you can see the corn crop conditions compared to earlier years. The percent in good to excellent for 2015 is less than 2013 and 2014. It is a little better than 2011, which was hot and dry in places. It was better than 2012 when we had the full blown drought. The second panel shows you the crop conditions in all categories throughout the 2015 growing season. And finally you can see the crop stages this year, compared to last year and the 5-year average.
Continue reading “Corn and Soybean Conditions in Illinois Are Not as Good as Last Two Years”
Here is a snapshot of conditions across the Midwest for August. The first map shows the actual precipitation, the second the departures from average, and the third shows the temperature departures from average. Overall, the region has been wet with temperatures close to average for August.
For Illinois, the statewide average is 1.8 inches, which is about 20 percent below average. The heaviest amounts of 3 to 5 inches have been just east of St. Louis August. Meanwhile, widespread areas in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, have reported 3 to 6 inches of rain. It has been less wet in the eastern Corn Belt.
Continue reading “Rainfall and Temperatures Across the Midwest in August”
Recently, Illinois officials have sought a federal disaster declaration from USDA in response to the heavy rainfall and damaging flooding across Illinois during May, June, and July of 2015. Update August 12: all but one county in Illinois is eligible for federal agricultural disaster loans due to excess rain according to news reports.
In response I have used resources here at the Illinois State Water Survey to set up data files with monthly rainfall and departures from normal (when available) for over 500 sites in Illinois to aid in identifying locations with potential problems.
Data and products in this effort are from the NWS Cooperative Observer Network, CoCoRaHS Volunteer Network, the Midwestern Regional Climate Center, and Illinois State Water Survey.