Home Indiana Agriculture News Planting Forecast: Precipitation, Evaporation Hurdles to Overcome

Planting Forecast: Precipitation, Evaporation Hurdles to Overcome


We are slightly little optimistic in the planting forecast this time around, as we have seen the upcoming moisture chances lessen some. However, there are still some hurdles to over come in the next 10 days to two weeks, especially for southern Indiana. The key will be how fast we are able to move the moisture we received late this last week out of the soil profile. The map below shows 10 day rain potential across the state. Small-ish amounts in the north, heavier rains in the south.

Partly sunny skies and warm air in the forecast for Saturday over the entire state. Temps will be well above normal, and we should see excellent evaporation. Breezy conditions will help with drying all day. Clouds increase late afternoon and evening. Hiccup number one comes Sunday – actually Saturday night through Sunday. A fast moving disturbance comes out of the plains and western corn belt and will track across the state. This system has shown a pretty good decrease in moisture over the past few days, but still will not miss all of us. It has also shifted its track south some too. The northern third of the state is most likely to escape new precipitation on Sunday. From US 24 southward through the rest of the state, we see rain potential of .1”-.7” with coverage at 80%. The upper end of the range will be limited to just a few areas, and our belief is that general rains will be more like .1”-.4” in that 80% coverage zone. Still, it means we are not drying in many areas. Clouds will be in most areas, although northern Indiana may get lucky and get a mix of clouds and sun. This is a fast moving system and will be gone by Sunday evening/night. The map of Saturday night-Sunday rains is below.

Starting Monday, our upcoming week actually looks drier than where concerns were most of this past week. We really can lump Monday through Friday together in this forecast, calling for varying amounts of sun and clouds. We can’t rule out a few hit and miss showers Tuesday over the southern half of the state, especially early morning through midday, generally giving a few hundredth to half an inch, but now nothing north. Then scattered light action again on Friday in central Indiana, triggering a few hundredths to a tenth or so. But, the overall consensus for the week is that we are able to miss a large part of the moisture that will be dancing around the eastern corn belt through Friday midday. There will definitely be holes. We expect coverage of any hit and miss showers to be limited to mostly 40% of the state or less.  Temperatures for most of next week will pull back…mostly near or slightly below normal. Not cold by any stretch, though.

Friday afternoon, a better organized system crosses the great lakes, focusing more north. This can bring some rain to the northern half of the state, through Friday evening, but we still stay at .25” or less. Saturday stays dry statewide, and then Sunday most of the state is dry, with the only chance of rain coming near the OH River in the far southern part of the state – up to half an inch there out of a system moving across KY and TN. We do see cold air advancing behind that system to kick off the extended period. The cold air outbreak begins Sunday night.

Extended Period:

The following week has the extended 11-16 day period starting dry for Monday through Wednesday, the 11th-13th. However, we are chilly Monday and Tuesday. Then scattered showers move across 60% of Indiana Thursday the 14th with a quarter of an inch or less. Scattered showers linger over southern Indiana (US 50 south) Friday the 15th and may bring up to another quarter inch. Then partly sunny to finish the extended window on Saturday the 16th.

Weeks 3 & 4:

Nothing to out of the ordinary to report for our extended week 3 and week 4 period. Overall, temperatures look normal to slightly below, but nothing that is concerning on cold air. Precipitation looks to be nearly normal too. Generally, in May, we expect to see one good system per week…while the maps below show us “in the green” in parts of the ECB, notice that the amounts above normal are pretty small. The biggest take away from this map should be that southern areas that are inline to get the bigger threats of moisture in the next 10 days and next 16 days are still in line to see the bigger moisture potential on through the second half of the month.

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)