U.S. Root Zone Moisture Map Wetter Than Last Year Heading into Spring

The root zone moisture map shows a soggier scenario that what farmers saw heading into spring 2019. ( Mike Hoffman )

Regions of the country continue to get hammered with above normal precipitation. The proof is showing up with flash flood warnings and water standing in farm fields. As farmers' minds shift to preparing for planting, many are questioning when the moisture will ease and fields finally dry up. 

"As you can see, most of the middle of the country, a lot of the major growing regions, are extremely wet," said U.S. Farm Report meteorologist Mike Hoffman showing the root zone moisture map. 

Hoffman said the area in blue is where the soil moisture profile is extremely full; a visual that looks and feels a lot like the start to last year's extremely wet spring. 

root zone

"This is actually wetter than last year at this time,” said Hoffman. “However, I’m not convinced we have the same type of spring as we had last year. I’m hopeful we don’t, and there are several signs that we won’t."

Hoffman said while a winter weather pattern has set in for the northern tier of states, he's forecasting below normal to normal precipitation over the next 30 days for much of the country. Hoffman thinks the Southeast and Mid South will see above normal precipitation heading into March. 

30 day forecast

Over the next week, Hoffman said winter isn't going anywhere. He thinks the wet winter weather pattern will linger for a while. He said the northern tier of states and states to the east have shifted into a heavy winter pattern with trophs continuing to dip down into the U.S. 

"With each of these trophs, it will bring a quick shot of cold air," said Hoffman. 

Hoffman said the good news is the shots of arctic air should be short lived.