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Planting Forecast: Have to Get Through a Wet Pattern Before Drier Weather Prevails


Nearby, we are looking at a pattern that is too wet to look seriously at planting progress. One system dropped rain over Indiana to start the weekend, and we have another front in for midweek this week. Once we get done with that system, though, we will be looking at a much better projected period for field work.

Indiana soil moisture profiles are wet after anywhere from.25”-1” of moisture kicked of the weekend, and there were some unfortunate areas that are dealing with higher totals, mostly in the NW. Precipitation free weather is back for Sunday and Monday, but we will see clouds staying close by as well. Drying will be good, but not great for those days. Tuesday clouds are thicker statewide, and we can’t rule out a few scattered showers. We put coverage at 40% over IN with moisture totals at a tenth or two max…this is not serious moisture, but it does mean that drying takes a backseat on Tuesday.

Wednesday brings a strong frontal complex to all of Indiana. Rain totals will be from .25”-1”. See map below. We think a large part of the state will end up between .25” and .75”, but again in NW IN, we see a few thunderstorms that may boost totals a bit. Clouds linger through all of Thursday and this system may end up with a bit stronger wrap around. Because of that, we are keeping the threat of a shower or two in for early Thursday, but with only 30% coverage. Thursday really features very little new precipitation, but also a slow start to dry down.

Friday, we flip the calendar into May, and we also seem to flip the pattern to a much drier one. WE see partly to mostly sunny skies Friday through next weekend to finish the 10 day period. Temps will climb quickly, and we should be normal to above normal on temps. Evaporation will be excellent, nearing a max of .25”-.3” per day, and if we can add any wind, we will move even more moisture out of the soil profile.

Extended Period:

The extended 11-16 day forecast period continues the dry stretch. In fact, we think it is possible to make it all the way through the period with no moisture, so that we could be fully or at least mostly dry from the 1st all the way through the 10th. In any case, we see partly to mostly sunny skies for Monday the 4th through Thursday the 7th. A few more clouds arrive for Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th. If we have any concern about moisture at all, it would be for Friday the 8th with the potential for a shower or two. But the threat looks low at the moment, and with a dry atmosphere and dry pattern for multiple days leading up to the threat…it has some hurdles to overcome to actually produce widespread precipitation. Still, we are watching that day close. We go back to drier weather for Sunday the 10th. Temps for the extended period will be normal to above.

Weeks 3 & 4:

Week three looks to be a continuation of what we see in our 11-16 day forecast pattern…mostly dry. That means our planting window has a good chance of extending. Temps in week 3 are not all that impressive, but not cold by any means. Call them near normal. In week 4, we see an increase in moisture potential, with 2 fronts likely, brining showers and potential for thunderstorms. Precip can be above normal, but we will be warm too, with above normal temps…this is what is pushing us toward the thought of more thunderstorms in week 4.

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)