Home Indiana Agriculture News Planting Forecast: Cold Weather, Pattern Change Coming

Planting Forecast: Cold Weather, Pattern Change Coming


While cold air seems like it should be the top story in this planting forecast, actually, we are going to want to focus on major patter change that is coming to IN next week too. In fact, our “relatively good” planting window that we have seen so far (yes, we know its been more of a challenge in some areas than others, but still, we’ve had pretty good progress so far) is going to go completely away starting the second half of this week. More on that in a bit.

First, everyone is talking about cold air. A massive cold air blast raced into the state to finish the week last week, and it parks over us through Tuesday. The coldest air likely peaked over the region early Saturday morning with frost and freeze conditions, but we only slowly move up from there. Temps will be 15-20 degrees below normal for daytime highs, and at least 15 degrees below normal overnight lows through Tuesday. While another super hard freeze is not likely, frost conditions can be seen again.

Clouds are back Sunday and we have scattered showers that move through Indiana. Rain totals will be .25″ or less with coverage at 60%. The best coverage will be central and northern Indiana.  A few of those showers will linger into Monday morning in northeast IN and east central IN before ending. The balance of Monday and balance of the state will see a mix of clouds and sun to start the week. Sun and clouds in varying degrees will be around through Wednesday. Temps will be cool to start the week, but will moderate toward mid-week, and will be near normal as we finish out.

Scattered showers develop overnight Wednesday night and hang around through Thursday. This starts a much more active pattern to finish the week and weekend, with multiple waves of moisture moving across Indiana. couple of days over the eastern corn belt. Rain for Thursday totals .24”-85” with 85% coverage, and then Friday a second wave of moisture in the morning can bring another .1”-1” inch to 60% of the state. Saturday stays dry with a mix of clouds and sun, but then Showers and thunderstorms are back for Sunday the 17th, with rain totals of .25”-1.5” and 75% coverage (northern Indiana may miss that round). This will be enough to dramatically bump up our rain totals. The maps below show combined rains through Wednesday evening (left) and then full 10 day rains, which shows a dramatic uptick in rain from Thursday through Sunday. Partly sunny skies are back to start off Monday (18th), and temps should be near normal.

Extended Period:

The extended period is up for some debate, but we are trending our outlook drier. Models are in disagreement, with one suggesting shower and/or thunderstorm potential every day, and another model saying far less precipitation potential. Given the way the pattern is unfolding, the answer is probably somewhere in the middle, as we are seeing a slightly more active precipitation track over central and southern parts of the eastern corn belt. That active precipitation track can follow through in the late week rains we see next week, but they will be smaller in scope. We are hopeful for some net drying in the 11-16 day period (19th-24th)

Weeks 3 & 4:

Drier and warmer for week three, with above normal temps and near normal precipitation. Week four looks to be wetter, but temps pull back closer to normal…which makes sense, given less sunshine that week. We expect 2 fronts to cross the eastern corn belt the week of the 31st through the 6th.

 Week 3

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)

Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)

Week 4

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)

Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)