The hype has begun over this weekend’s weather event. You won’t hear it from here. Our forecast stays the same. Today will be a fairly calm day as will tomorrow, although clouds will likely build slowly.
We have a strong little system passing by to the south over the Deep South, triggering good rains through MS, AL, GA and up in to TN. This storm will turn into a headline maker as it sweeps up the east coast this weekend. You can bet national outlets will be talking about how bad it is. Back here, nothing really happens until our northwest clipper system arrives Saturday.
That low still looks to take a track from Minneapolis to Chicago to just north of Indy. The best precipitation will be just to the north and west side of the low. However, we continue to keep our moisture forecast at .1”-.4” liquid equivalent, coverage at around 70%. The remaining 30% of the state will see moisture, but in the trace to few hundredths range. We also maintain that most of this precipitation will fall in liquid form, as the freezing line looks reluctant to move much into the northern part of the state. The only concern about snow we have is lingering moisture into late in the day and the overnight period. If moisture lingers there, we can see a decent coating to 1 inch over the northern half to third of the state. Farther south…no snow.
Following that system, the rest of next week looks stable, if not boring. High pressure dominates for Tuesday through Thursday. Late in the week we see another storm complex forming in west TX and eastern NM, exactly as the current southern system did yesterday and late Tuesday. Models right now want to keep that system out of here and keep our precipitation limited to a few late week flurries from a weak surface trough. I am not ready to limit it to that yet. We still look for colder air through the week next week to provide more of a pull northward of the low, especially if we can get backside flow around the midweek high to help. So, while we will not go all out and look for a major event at the turn of the moth, we think there is more potential for a good front than models are saying right now.
Early February gets very cold. We posted a map yesterday that shows massive cold air incursions into the upper Midwest and western great lakes. Nothing is really all that different 24 hours later. We also see at least 2 clipper systems in the first 7 days of February that can bring snow, and a massive storm front pummeling the west coast around the 7th that would suggest a strong system for us around the 11th-12th, if it holds together. Cold air will be the key, and we continue to see the intermediate and extended periods well below normal over the eastern half of the nation.
Weather that Impacts CORN:
As we kind of anticipated, the drier solution the models went with 24 hours ago did not hold for Argentina. Now, we are not seeing a scenario where we are flush with 1-3 inch frontal passages, but we are seeing nice, timely rains in the quarter to 1 inch range on several occasions through the coming weeks. The first round of action works in Saturday into Sunday but only has about 40% coverage. From Monday through Thursday we see scattered showers that produce up to half an inch with 70% coverage. Then a front arrives next Friday the 29th and brings half to 1.5” rains with 80% coverage. Some of those rains may expand to near 3” as they get close to Paraguay and Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Early February shows half to 1 inch rains around with 60% coverage for the 2nd-4th, then dry and sunny with high pressure from the 5th through the end of the period. The pattern would suggest perhaps a nice dry window through the 10th.
Better coverage of lighter moisture on the models for Argentina leads to a southern/southeastern Brazil pattern than includes some better moisture too, although a lot of it is back loaded into the extended period. Mostly dry weather settles in this weekend, and we see scattered showers for the 27th through the 29th, with the most coverage and intensity on the 29th. However, from the 1st through the 4th we can see 1-3 inch rains from RGDS up through Sao Paulo, coverage at 80%. Temps look to stay nearly normal. Some are spinning this forecast as not so good (50%-75% of normal rain in the period from the 22nd-29th)…but as long as temps do not rage out of control…we actually don’t mind this kind of forecast.
Major rains missed the Corn Belt yesterday and overnight, with a strong system passing over the Deep South. A clipper like system in a cold air mass for the weekend looks tantalizing, but really has minimal moisture…we would be surprised to see anyone with more than .4” anywhere in the Corn Belt. Moisture coverage and the pattern gets much more active after the turn of the month. Bitter cold air is still on the docket, and we see some good shots of snow coming. Pat close attention to a system in TX Thursday into Friday of next week…right now models want to keep that system south of the region again (like this current system) but we think there is potential to lift it further north, and bring significant moisture into the southern and central corn belt just ahead of the turn of the month.
Scattered mosture will c ontinue to be the rule through the next week at least…but we see much stronger rain action after the calendar turns to February. Rains from now through the 31st will combine to produce up to 1.25” with coverage at 60%,. However, from the 1st through the7th (and in particular the 3rd-6th) we see 1-3 inch rains from Matto Grosso do Sul up through the heart of the soybean belt. Keep in mind ,the window for 2nd crop corn planting is 2/2-2/25…so moisture just ahead of or right at the start of planting would be seen as great for the corn, but might elicit some complaints on the bean harvest front. Temps look normal to slightly warm over most of the soy belt, above normal still in eastern Goias, through all of Minas Gerais and Bahia, where production acres are fewer.
Some of the driest areas in TX got some of the best rains out of the system that exited the state yesterday. Snows were seen a bit farther north than we expected, up into SW KS…but generally we don’t mind that kind of verification. Warm air races back into the central and southern plains behind this current system that left yesterday. Temps in eastern CO may push 70 degrees up near Fort Morgan Sunday or Monday. So, while cold air digs in over the eastern third of the country, it will lead to another major warm up in HRW areas. This may be problematic, as we see cold air blasting in for February…but for now, as long as moisture stays decent, the crop still looks to be in good shape. A strong system will develop late next week in TX and NM exactly where this last one did. Models right now keep it mostly south, along a similar track as the last one…but we are keeping the door open for a swing north that might bring better precipitation to HRW areas north of I-70. February shows colder air in the plains in general, with better chances of snow especially after the 5th with better moisture coming in over the western third of the country.
SRW areas see are colder and wetter than their compadres. But, we see the bitter cold holding off until February. Next week will just be below normal. Depending on the track of that system out of TX late next week, southern SRW areas may be in for another strong 1-1.5” rain event, or the better moisture may lift north. That is a scenario (incase you missed it earlier) we will watch closely.
FSU wheat areas look colder for the first part and last part of the forecast period. The last 5 days of the period we see well below normal temps. In the middle, we see some milder air lifting up from the south. This will be right about the same time a couple of weaker fronts toy with the area, trying to come in out of Eastern Europe. We can see precipitation totals up to .75” liquid equivalent out of those two systems, coverage at about 60%. We like most of the moisture over the Central and southern Regions, and to a lesser extent in the Volga region. This should be a mix of rain and snow, ending as more snow.
Biggest threat here will be temps in the next two weeks. For beef cattle production exceptionally warm temps will be back in early next week, and above normal temps through the week. For northern dairy production areas, look for cold air to start to push in early next week, and brutal cold can be in for early February. The big change from warm to eventual cold in the central and southern plains might be an issue to watch. But, for right now, we don’t look for the huge swings (40 degree swings) to happen in less than 24 hours…it will be slightly more manageable.