Thursday, April 19, 2012

U.S. Drought Outlook: Improvement is Limited

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


Since the release of the previous Drought Outlook issued on April 5, warm and dry weather caused drought to intensify and expand from the Gulf Coast and the south Atlantic states northward along the Eastern Seaboard. Farther west, conditions intensified to drought status in relatively small sections of western Kentucky, central Illinois, and the central High Plains.

Overall, the current Drought Outlook is not optimistic. Substantial improvement is expected only in southern Maine, the southern half of Florida with the onset if its rainy season, and western North Dakota. Meanwhile, limited surface moisture improvement is anticipated in the rest of the Northeast, North Carolina, the immediate southern Atlantic coastline, northern Florida and adjacent Alabama, and the upper Midwest.



In addition, late-period monsoonal rains could bring limited improvement to southern sections of New Mexico and Arizona. Drought should persist where it exists elsewhere (including Hawaii) and may expand to cover the central Rockies. It should be noted that the Drought Outlook is hampered by uncertainty regarding the track and intensity of a storm system that could drop heavy precipitation on part or all of the Atlantic Seaboard during April 21 – 23. This Drought Outlook assumes, as a compromise, a storm of moderate strength that affects the entire East Coast.

Forecast confidence for the Southeast is moderate, and for the Northeast is low.

Given all of the uncertainties, the outlook boils down to two factors: First, improvement is expected in southern Florida where there is a significant climatological increase in rainfall and summer progresses. Second, all other things being equal, drought has the best chance of persisting where the intensity and duration are currently the greatest and where there is no sharp climatological increase in rainfall – along the Delmarva Peninsula, and across South Carolina, Georgia, and adjacent areas away from the immediate Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The limited improvement expected elsewhere is a reflection of the fact that extant drought is of lesser intensity and shorter duration in these areas, and not the result of a wetter forecast.

Forecast confidence for the upper Midwest and northern Plains is low.

In the upper Midwest and northern Plains, May – July is climatologically one of the wettest times of the year. Typically 35 to 45 percent of annual precipitation falls during this 3-month period from the eastern Dakotas eastward through Iowa and Minnesota, climbing to between 45 and 60 percent in the northern Plains. Near- to above-normal precipitation is expected for the remainder of April – especially along the northern tier – and the sum of indicators does not lean significantly toward dryness or wetness for May – July. However, both constructed analogs and CFS output leans wet in the northern and eastern tiers of the region, especially in western North Dakota, and toward dryness across western Nebraska.

This information translates into a forecast for improvement in western North Dakota (where indicators and climatology lean the wettest) and for persistence in western Nebraska (where forecasts on all time scales lean drier) and northeastern Minnesota (home of the region’s most entrenched drought conditions). Limited improvement is anticipated in other drought areas. It should be noted that since this is a wet time of year for the region – particularly in the western reaches – the lack of a convincing preponderance of indicators implies a large range of possible outcomes by the end of the period.

Forecast confidence across the southwestern and western parts of the nation is high.

For most of the southwestern and western part of the country, drought is expected to persist in most locations and expand into the central Rockies. This is a relatively wet time of year for the southern High Plains and neutral to dry farther west, especially in the desert Southwest and California.

Some precipitation is expected in northern parts of the region in late April, but thereafter the odds lean toward a drier-than-normal May – July through the northern half of the area. There is no discernible tilt of the odds farther south. Surface moisture is depleted in late spring and summer across this region due to the frequency of hot, dry, and windy weather. In addition, mountain snowpack, the source of a lot of the region’s moisture, is starting off below normal, and as a result summer stream flows are expected to be abnormally low.

In addition, May – July is expected to be warmer than normal, potentially enhancing the typical surface moisture depletion that always happens during this time of year. The result is a forecast for persisting drought that could expand into the central Rockies if there is sufficiently enhanced seasonal surface moisture draw-down. The only exception is in southern sections of New Mexico and Arizona, where the onset of monsoonal rains in July should bring some surface moisture back.

Forecast confidence in Hawaii is high.

Finally, Hawaii is transitioning into its drier time of the year, and there is little chance for any lasting drought improvement.

Tags: ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    USDA Commentary: Weekly Cotton Markets, Weather by Region7-25

    Rose on Cotton: No Pleasure in this Market Made for Bears7-25

    Rice Market: U.S. Futures Decline as Global Prices Rise7-25

    Rice Crop: Harvest Begins Slowly in Louisiana and Texas7-25

    Rice Commentary – Rice Farmers Need to Consider a New Business Plan7-25

    Leave Your Guns at the House, Boys.7-25

    DTN Livestock Close: Cattle Futures Explode to New Highs7-25

    Doane Cotton Close: Futures Continue Lower After Midweek Rally7-25

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Soybeans Mixed, Wheat, Corn Gain Slightly7-25

    AFB Cotton Close: Sell-Off Continues7-25

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Continue Lower7-25

    DTN Cotton Close: Settles on New Contract Lows7-25

    Peanuts: 15% Of Crop Ungathered In Key Argentine Production Area7-25

    Rail Car Delays Causing Dread Among Elevator Operators – DTN7-25

    DTN Grain Close: Wheat Prices Rally Off Lows7-25

    Catfish Production: Water Surface Acres at 63,700 Acres7-25

    USDA: Peanut Price Highlights7-25

    Arkansas: New iPhone App Simplifies Farmers’ Finances7-25

    DTN Livestock Midday: Cattle Futures Continue Higher7-25

    DTN Grain Midday: Wheat 3 to 6 Cents Up in Front Months7-25

    Taking the Risk Out of Buying Used Equipment — DTN7-25

    North Carolina: Rediscovering Grain Sorghum — DTN7-25

    Peanuts: Worms Still Building In SE; Rains Boost West’s Crop – AgFax7-25

    Shurley on Cotton: Prices Try to Stabilize, Still Show Weakness7-25

    Southern Soybean Insect Situation Gets Complicated – AgFax7-25

    DTN Cotton Open: Extends Losses in Early Going7-25

    AgFax Wildlife Review: Wild Hogs Damaging Levees in Louisiana7-25

    DTN Livestock Open: Cattle Futures Likely to Begin Mixed7-25

    DTN Grain Open: Soybeans, Corn Starting Out Lower7-25

    Keith Good: Declining Commodity Prices Foreshadow Ag Slump? Maybe.7-25

    Ethanol: Final 2014 RFS Release ‘Imminent’ – DTN7-24

    Doane Cotton Close: Prices Break Out of Range Lower7-24

    Rice – Arkansas, Mississippi – Blast Becomes Major Concern – AgFax7-24

    New Rural Infrastructure Fund Established — DTN7-24

    U.S. Grain Transportation: Wheat Demand Increases, Inspections Rise7-24

    2014 Farm Bill Decisions: Base Acre Reallocation Option7-24

    Midwest Grain: Pull the Fungicide Trigger Now? It Depends. – AgFax7-24

    Louisiana: Sodium Nitrite Explored for Wild Hog Control7-24

    U.S. Energy: Refineries Running at Record Levels7-24

    Gasoline Prices: Show 4-Cent Decrease7-24

    Propane Stocks: Continue to Rise7-24

    Diesel Prices: Average Declines by 3 Cents7-24

    Corn: Pollination is One of Nature’s Miracle – DTN7-23

    Wheat Tour Sees One of the Best Crops in Years – DTN7-23

    10 Arkansas and 2 Tennessee Counties Designated Natural Disaster Areas7-23

    Soybeans: Is the 2014 Average Yield Headed for a New Record?7-23

    Drones Monitoring the Garden or Your Crop? One Is Legal, One Is Not.7-23

    Cotton In The Midsouth – Plant Bugs Persist As Bollworms Arrive – AgFax7-23

    Cotton – Plant Bugs, Stink Bugs Overlapping In Parts Of Southeast – AgFax7-23

    Cotton in Southwest: Blooms Spreading; Fleahopper, White Fly on the Move7-22

    USDA: Don’t Forget Farm Bill Conservation Compliance Changes7-22

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices7-22

    Good Reports on Corn; Wet Weather Stressing Beans — DTN7-22

    Cattle: Nebraska Study Finds No Ill Effects from Zilmax — DTN7-22

    South Korea Importers Returning to U.S. Corn, DDGS — DTN7-22

    Sunbelt Ag Events

    Rice News

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office 601-992-3503 Fax

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney