It’s a little early to be talking about spring 2019 planting weather conditions, but HAT chief meteorologist Ryan Martin did that this week in presentations at the Indiana Farm Equipment and Technology Expo, and a offered a possibility for good planting windows. But before that time rolls around, Hoosiers will have to deal with a snowy and cold winter.
“The cold temperatures that we expect coming in for most of the winter would indicate that we should still see ample snow, but cold air generally produces a drier, fluffier snow,” he explained. “If we’re looking at a lot of Alberta clipper systems, which is what I think we will be looking at, snow can pile up, especially central and northern parts of the state. But we are still looking at generally below normal precipitation, liquid equivalent precipitation from that as we go through the January, February, and maybe March period.”
It will be cold across most of the state, but to what degree?
“I’m looking for us to generally be 3-6 degrees below normal, on average, for your maximum temperatures through the months of January and February,” Martin said. “That’s probably where we’re going to be peaking out. I think once we get into March we should be seeing temperatures ease a bit.”
For further into spring, Martin’s models right now are suggesting the dryer or below normal precipitation will continue into March, April and then May, possibly back to near normal in May. Temperatures, like precip, look pretty good.
“Temperatures do look like they want to climb, maybe getting normal to slightly above in March, but April does look warmer than normal on average, and then May back to near normal. If we put those two things together, we should be looking at maybe some windows for ample planting or even some early planting progress in April.”
That’s encouraging, but it is the weather and models change, so stay tuned.