Planting Forecast: Three Days of Sunshine


We should see a dry weekend emerge as clouds break up and sunshine returns. However, much colder air has pushed in behind the cold front that passed to end the week. Therefore, we are dealing with chilly temps (relatively speaking) as we start off this period. Saturday temperatures will be a good 10-15 degrees below normal for this time of year, and we will see temps dip to below freezing in parts of northern Indiana overnight Saturday night into Sunday morning. So, there can be some patchy frost. This will be aided by clearing Saturday night too. Temps begin to bounce on Sunday with sunshine, and we continue to climb from there. With southwest winds returning to start the week, we see temps climb to their first above normal level by next Tuesday and Wednesday as we knock on the door of 80 degrees up north and move into the mid and upper 80s farther south. This warming will be ahead of our next front for the second half of next week. The warm air, combined with increasing south winds for Tuesday and Wednesday will give excellent evaporation rates, allowing for any low spots to become fit for planting. Soil temps should be adequate in all areas by early next week. Calm to light winds will be seen at the start of the period, but we will likely not have ideal conditions for spraying by Tuesday and Wednesday.

Our next front is on track to bring rain and thunderstorms starting Thursday. Rain totals Thursday will be from .25”-1.5” with coverage at 70% of the state. To get to the upper end of the range, thunderstorms will be needed and the best chances of those, as it stands right now, will be Thursday evening and overnight. Then, we see rains hold on, perhaps through the entire day Friday over a good 60% of Indiana. This can add an additional .25”-.75” to the previously mentioned rain totals. Finally, on Saturday we get all action out of Indiana pushing off to the east. We should be dry for that following weekend (5th-6th), but cooler once again. The map below shows total rains through the end of next week, the majority of which comes from that front next Thursday and Friday.

Extended Period

For the extended period, we have a minor disturbance moving over northern Indiana for the 7th, part of a stronger low in the upper Midwest. That likely triggers only a few scattered showers worth up to .25” and 40% coverage. Our front for the 9th looks stronger, bringing .25”-.75” to 80% of the state, and then we will be watching a wave coming out of OK and AR on Saturday the 12th, as it may hook right across the state before the day is done. That system would have potential for strong to severe thunderstorms if it holds together and tracks correctly.

After the front next week, as we mentioned, we cool off. We expect those cooler temps to hold through the extended window, where we see temps mostly normal to below normal.

Weeks 3 & 4:

Both week 3 and week 4 show temps doing a little better this week. WE should be above normal for week 3, and normal to slightly above normal in week 4. For our precipitation outlook, we see nearly normal action over the northern half to two-thirds of the state, while we may trend drier down south. This makes sense when we look at the individual storm threats and frontal passages, as they seem to have more of a northern and NW focus in the corn belt in general. Looking at the set up in more detail, we have a front for the 16th-17th that can bring rain to about 70% of the state, a minor one for the 22nd and 23rd, and then a front that grazes the region to the NW, hitting more of the upper Midwest, but still bringing some action to Indiana around the 29th.

Week 3

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)
Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)
Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)

Week 4

Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)

Soil Conditions:
Good dry down expected over the next 5 days. Evaporation rates should max out at .25” per day from Monday through Wednesday. Even low/wet spots should shape up quite nicely. Soil temps have been slowly building thanks to sunshine. A cool start to the weekend will stall temps at levels similar to this map from Friday morning, but we should see a rapid surge in temps Tuesday and Wednesday when temps push into the upper 70s and low-mid 80s.