Short term weather offers not major changes this morning, with little precipitation for the rest of the week and weekend, and temperatures that fluctuate to either side of normal. We might see a bit of spits and sprinkles late tomorrow into Thursday, but action will be minor. Snow flurries are most likely.
We need to watch a Great Lakes low pressure cell move through over the weekend. Right now, the low will not be anywhere near the state, but as it settles into western PA and eastern OH, it may throw some clouds and a bit of light moisture back to the west over the Hoosier state. We don’t look for much. We continue to see our next good rain maker for Monday night through Tuesday of next week. Moisture comes into the western corn belt, and then rotates south across Indiana. We will hold with .2”-.5” moisture totals in over a large part of the state with coverage at 80%. As we mentioned 24 hours ago, the heavier rains will be over the southern third of the state and the heaviest may miss just south of the OH River. The main threat will be rain as it stands right now, perhaps some snow farther north. The biggest thing to watch for will be a switch in low pressure track to more east or even northeasterly…which would bring the heavier moisture farther north over the state.
The extended forecast all hinges on a flattening of the large upper level ridge over the western part of the country. We have maintained for the past week or so that major pattern change back to cold air and very active precipitation tracks comes down to that ridge and its demise. Models yesterday began to push forward solutions that slowly de-amplify the ridge later next week, leading to a good tough digging down into northern Mexico and southern AZ. In the midst of that trough, we see a significant storm system developing, ejecting out over the central plains for the 22nd-23rd, and moving toward us for the 24th. Just ahead of that, for next weekend (20th-21st) we have a northwest origin system that hammers the great lakes as a precursor. So…there will be plenty of moisture availability, and a “classic” winter storm track. There is more than enough time for this to change…and it likely will develop differently…but the simple fact that the ridge is projected to go away over the west should give us cues that we will see a very active, and potentially cold finish to the month of February.
No significant short term changes in Argentina this morning. We see 1-2 inch rains, mostly over the northern half of the argentine Corn Belt from today through early tomorrow. Dry the rest of the day over the southern half of the region. Then dry to finish the week in all areas with temps normal to slightly above. A weak front of Sunday through early Tuesday has its best moisture just off shore, but still will drag across 70% of corn areas, which is slightly better than our outlook 24 hours ago. Rain amounts are slightly smaller, from a quarter to .6” rains. However, models now show a secondary, stronger front toward the end of the 10 day period around the 18th-19th that can bring up to an inch of rain with 70% coverage. Strong high pressure still should come in behind that for the 20th-24th.
Frontal boundaries continue to slow and stall over southern parts of Brazil and into Paraguay. This will promote heavier rains over the next two weeks from Parana east into Paraguay, southern Matto Grosso do Sul, and even up into southwest Matto Grosso. We see no reason to deviate from our forecasts yesterday of at least 2 inch rain totals and in those heavier areas 4-5 inches will be seen regularly. Heavy corn areas in Parana may not like the heavier rains, but we will have to see them realized before we get too concerned. We should see some moves toward drier air near the end of the 10 day period.
There is not a lot of moisture in the US Corn Belt the rest of this week. The next chance of decent rain will be early next week with .25”-.75” totals skewed more toward the western and southwestern Corn Belt. Temps will continue to be above normal in the west but will slowly work lower with time in the east, doing it in a swing back and forth style. Next week we expect temps to be fully below normal. A much more active pattern is possible for the 11-16 day period as the upper level ridge in the west looks to flatten. This will open the door to a couple of stronger storms in the last 10 days of February, with 1-2 inch precipitation totals (liquid equivalent) or more for a large part of the Corn Belt.
The latest 10 day modeled precipitation map shows an expansion of heavier rains into soybean areas of Matto Grosso do Sul. Matto Grosso also looks to have good coverage. Soybeans that need one last rain to finish them off will get it, and areas that need to see some dry down to harvest may struggle just a bit, especially the farther south and east you go in the soy belt. However, the areas that see the worst and heaviest rains in the next 10 days are more corn areas than beans (at least for first crop). We see 1-2.5” rains in Matto Grosso, half to 1.5” rains in Goias, southwest Bahia and western Minas Gerais, and up to 1 inch farther northwest. Heavy rains in excess of 5 inches combined can be seen in the days ahead over about 30% of Matto Grosso do Sul.
HRW areas will see little to no precipitation short term, and will have to see a dramatic flattening of a ridge out west to get moisture into the forecast. There can be some quarter to half inch rains over HRW areas late this weekend into Monday, but the best coverage will be in TX and then eastern parts of OK and KS. Farther out in the forecast period we can see a strong storm complex with 1-2” liquid potential for the 22nd-23rd…if it holds together.
SRW slowly cool over the next 10 days with minor to no precipitation. We start the week off next week with some rain and snow potential, but limited coverage over northern areas, better coverage (near 70%) in the south. A strong storm complex late in the extended period may bring above normal precipitation to all SRW areas around the 23rd-24th. Temps go back and forth around normal this week, but will be below normal next week and on through the end of the month.
Forecast maps are unchanged today for Russia and FSU areas. In fact, the 10 day precipitation map looks nearly identical to yesterday, with only a small tongue of quarter inch moisture coming north into southern parts of Russia’s Central Region. A large part of Russian and FSU wheat areas will see little to no precipitation. The southern part of Russia’s Southern Region can still see up to an inch of liquid equivalent, but the rest of the region misses out.