Cool weather to continue; soil still frozen

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Cooler than average temperatures are expected to continue across the northern states in May, according to a recent report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.

According to the report, states including Montana, North Dakota and the northern Great Lakes states are most likely to experience cooler than average conditions through May.

"The area that is most likely to continue the cool trend will skirt northern South Dakota," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension climate field specialist. 

"The pattern we have seen this winter has been a strong ridge of high pressure over the western states, and a trough bringing wetter and cooler conditions to the eastern United States," she said. "This pattern will gradually break down as we move into the summer season."

Currently, there is some discrepancy among the numerous climate computer models for precipitation in May, she added. "Some models indicate wetter than average, while others show near normal for the coming month. The official Climate Prediction Center report states equal chances of below average, near average, and above average for May," Edwards said.

Area farmers and gardeners have been eagerly awaiting warmer weather this spring, as soil temperatures are still too cool in many areas to plant corn and backyard gardens. Small grains, such as wheat and oats, are able to tolerate the cooler soil temperatures that currently measure in the 40 Fahrenheit to 50 Fahrenheit range at four-inch depth. Soils are still frozen at deeper levels, as the maximum frozen depths reached several feet below the surface this winter.

"We've seen quite a bit of preparation activity in the fields in the southern and central parts of the state (South Dakota), but activity has been relatively quiet in the north and northeastern counties," Edwards said. "The below freezing temperatures this week, and three to six inches of snow that fell April 16 in Codington, Grant and Deuel counties will likely further slow planting progress."

The climate outlook for the next three months shows Montana and North Dakota to remain in an area of cooler than average temperatures. 

"South Dakota is just south of this region, with equal chances of below average, near average, and above average temperatures expected through July," said Dennis Todey, SDSU Extension state climatologist.  

Todey added that precipitation can be a challenge to forecast for the early summer season, as thunderstorm activity is more likely, and climate computer models are less reliable.

"There is not much concern at this time for an extreme drought to develop this summer," Todey said. "As we move into the wetter spring and summer season, our drier top soil could recover quickly."

One factor that could affect our summer conditions is El Niño, added Todey. "During the growing season, El Niño often means wetter and cooler conditions in the Corn Belt," he said. "The most recent indicators show El Niño to be increasingly likely to develop in the summer season."

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Pacesetter Grain Hopper

The Pacesetter Gain Hopper features original and innovative ideas like the patented RollerTrap™, the industry’s easiest to open and maintain trap ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form