Month: March 2016

30 March 2016 Wednesday

March is just about in the history books and the month overall will trend:

  1. 2nd warmest in 121 years (thank you El Nino) and the warmest since 2012.
  1. Rainfall was the most since 1998 (the last record strong El Nino) and 19% above average for the U.S. overall.  Nationally +4.7F above average for 260 major cities.
  1. Snowfall was the 3rd least in 25+ years and 46% below average.

April won’t be as extremely warm with the month overall likely to be above average but coolest in 3 years, still wet but drier than last year but more snow early in the month.  The Northeast is actually the coolest in 9 years with a very cold and even snowy start (interior elevations) to the month with a hard freeze next week likely to negatively impact fruit trees, vineyards and berries in the Great Lakes into New Jersey since this vegetation is out about 3-4 weeks too early.  The first week of April in the Northeast will be the 2nd coldest in 14 years and most snowfall in 9 years.  Could even see some flurries in the NYC area.  Out West it will go from cold/snowy here at the end of March in the Central Rockies to 60s next week.

The Pacific Ocean is showing a classic signature that La Nina is right around the corner.  The sub-surface water temperatures are now below normal all across the Pacific and that cooler water is just about to crack the surface of the Eastern Pacific Ocean in the next 30-60 days.  Winds have gone from strong El Nino westerly winds in the Eastern Pacific (January) to Easterly winds now – again classic signature the pattern is changing as we speak.  Even out in the Western Pacific near Australia the westerly winds have returned signalling an end to El Nino.

Sets the stage for a coolish middle Spring here in the Eastern U.S. but then turning scorching hot/dry by late June – August with a severe heat-wave and drought for much of the Central and Eastern U.S.  The Deep South likely to be warm, humid and wet with hurricane threats by July and then potentially a parade of storms August – October with an end to the 10+ year hurricane drought in the U.S.!  Gulf Coast and Florida highest risk areas, Northeast not so much as we’ll be under a dominating high pressure system much of Summer – again classic La Nina signature.


25 March 2016 Good Friday

Hope you had a Good Friday.

The Northeast will have the warmest last week of March (this Easter weekend) in 9 years with much above average temperatures which will insure March will go down as the 2nd hottest in 121 years. Trees, flowers and fruit trees are all sprouting about 2-4 weeks early in the East due to the very warm late February and near record warm March…that’s bad news in light of what’s coming!

The North Pole looks to invade the Eastern half of the U.S. with some very cold weather around the 3-4 April time-frame with freezes as far south as North Texas to North Georgia. Fruit trees are already flowering as far North as Eastern PA so this could be a big deal for very early sprouting and flowering berries and citrus trees.  The low temperatures currently forecast in early April on wt360 are likely to trend even colder so this is something to watch if you live in the Eastern half of the country.  And, this may not be the last major freeze in the Midwest or East.

We’ll keep you posted!  Have a great Easter weekend.

21 March 2016 Monday

We’ll have it all weather wise this week in the U.S. with a early Spring blizzard, severe weather, tornadoes, flooding, spring temps, winter temps and might as well throw in some sneezing and bugs for good measure.

First up is a storm system that will move into the Central States with severe weather out in front of it while a snow storm rages on the northern fringe of the system from Colorado to Northern Michigan. A widespread band of 4-8″ is likely from Colorado and Wyoming through South Dakota and Nebraska midweek and then into Southern Minnesota/Iowa and ultimately Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. There will be some pockets of 12″ snow totals and even upwards of 18″ further East into Northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan by Thursday.

On the southern fringe of the storm there will be 1-5″ rainfall totals in the Southeast from Louisiana to North Florida along with some severe weather in the form of severe thunderstorms and even some tornadoes Thursday and again over the Easter weekend. Temperatures will surge some 25 degrees ahead of this cold front in the East through late week. Bugs and allergies are all off to a strong early start in the South and East with the 2nd warmest first few weeks of March on record, more similar to the really warm start in2012.

On a global scale the cold spots for the first two weeks of Spring are in Central and Eastern Canada where they will get off to the 3rd year in a row with a cold start to Spring. Not as cold as last year’s near record cold, but cold enough. This will set the stage for a cold start to April in the Central and parts of the Eastern U.S. as this cold air dives South in the week ahead. The very warm March will be a distant memory with a chillier April for the Eastern half of the U.S. and very likely the 2nd coldest April of the past 18 years in the Central U.S. and coldest in 3 years for the U.S. overall, driest in 4 but snowiest in 3…not exactly good news for most retailers or warm seasonal products.

To see how we help Fortune 1,000 companies, watch our latest video which also provides a few sneak peeks at our year-ahead forecast.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

18 March 2016 Friday

This last weekend of Winter will be a tad winter-like in the East with a storm system moving up the East Coast.  Fortunately it appears the EURO model that was forecasting widespread 12-18″+ snow totals from Central VA to New England including all the big cities from DC to Boston has backed off that idea.  A more general light snow event is possible on the first day of Spring (Sunday) from DC to Boston with a general 2-6″ event with a narrow band of heavier snow possible from Wilmington Delaware to just East of Philly to just East of New York City where some could get 6-8″ of very wet snow.  Boston and Eastern Mass area likely to get the most with 8-12″ totals possible Sunday.  The US GFS model has been fairly consistent that this is a weaker event while the Euro has waffled more going from epic blizzard to not much back to moderate event so it has not been consistent.  Any snow will melt very quickly due to the high sun angle this time of year and a mostly daytime event.  For the U.S. overall this last weekend of Winter is the coolest in 3 years, 7th coldest of the past 25+ and 5th driest of the past 25+ years. Spring officially arrives Sunday at 12:30am EDT.

Next week a nationwide warm up going into the Easter holiday weekend which looks to be the warmest in 4 years but also 4th wettest in 25+ years.  It does look to get stormier with another round of moderate to heavy rain for the northern half of California Thr-Fri next week but very heavy rain and some severe weather from East Texas to Ohio.  More flooding likely in the Texas to Gulf Coast states where the last week of March looks to bring another 5″+ rain totals on already soggy ground and flooding rivers.

Have a great weekend folks!

14 March 2016 Monday

The first two weeks of March trended record hot for the U.S. overall and the 3rd wettest of the past 25+ years for the nation as a whole. California was the bigger winner with the wettest start to March in 21 years…they needed this Miracle March! Snowfall was obviously almost non-existent trending the 2nd least in 25+ years for the U.S. overall, more similar to 2010. California and the Sierras were again the exception where feet of snow fell in the higher elevations.

The next two weeks the pattern flip-flops a bit with the warm and dry shifting to the West while the Eastern half turns cooler, wetter and even some interior higher elevation Northeast snow late this weekend into early next week. Pick your model but the U.S. models are more excited than the Euro about a snow event (well inland of the DC to BOS corridor) late this weekend into early next week with a blast of cooler weather. After 70s and 80s last week, even normal late March weather will feel cold by those standards. Kind of ironic that the first day of Spring is this Sunday and it may very well look more like Winter.

For our farmers getting ready for the 2016 Crop Season please see our latest blog as there is exceptionally high risk this year with an emerging La Nina pattern that are famous for scorching hot and very dry Summers and then epic hurricanes for the Deep South.

Have a great start to the week folks!

A Scorching Hot Summer & Drought for Corn Belt Farmers!!!

We sure hope you’re preparing for a scorching hot Summer with a drought more widespread than 2012 and yes a big rally coming for corn prices. If you’re in the heart of the Corn Belt from Nebraska to Pennsylvania it would be a good idea to have crop insurance this year and even in the Deep South the late Summer-Fall hurricane season is likely to be equally devastating. Yes soil moisture levels right now are OK…let’s talk around July 4th when they’ll be anything but for the Western half of the Corn Belt.

ag-web-9El Nino is collapsing at warp speed and nearly every major El Nino transitions to moderate to strong La Nina within a year and this year will be no different. We don’t need to hear the word La Nina is here as the trend already tells us that a scorching hot/dry Summer is on the way for many in the Corn Belt. Year-to-date rainfall in the Corn Belt is the 2nd least in 25+ years and least in 13 years, similar to last year. But last year was an emerging epic El Nino year so don’t expect the rains to materialize this Summer – they won’t!

ag-web-2_blogYear-to-date rainfall compared to the past 25 years.

ag-web-1If you saw our Seeds of Success Episode 1 issued last fall you saw our year-ahead forecast for the Corn Belt as a whole which warned of a top 5 hottest Summer in 121 years and at least the driest since 2012, 2nd least in a decade. It’s very likely this forecast is even too optimistic when it comes to core late June – August rainfall.

ag-web-3The government computer models are not usually all that accurate but the better ones are all signaling moderate to even strong La Nina by Summer. Again, the trend is just as important as the index value and the trend is collapsing quickly.

ag-web-4When the government says 50% to 60% chance of La Nina by Summer that’s a very likely forecast in their world of predictions.

ag-web-5We’re not huge believers in analog weather forecasting technology but when 10 of 12 years all suggest scorching heat and drought in July and August based on comparable years back to 1954 you can’t argue there’s a a lot of RISK IN 2016. Plus wt360 expects this to be a 2-year drought so 2016 is just the start!

ag-web-6Again, not a fan of NOAA outlooks but even they agree on the heat and dryness bulls-eye which of course is way under done.

ag-web-7And if all that wasn’t enough we can throw in an epic hurricane season in the making more similar to 1998 and 2005. This will have further impacts for Deep South crops that may escape drought but won’t escape hurricane damage risks like they haven’t seen in 11 years (see our Seeds of Success Episode 3 for more details).

ag-web-8So, as we advised the 1,000+ farmers that use our year-ahead outlooks…get the crop insurance…very likely you’ll need it this year. We happily take calls from any farmer, even if you’re not a client so don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 610-807-0118.

11 March 2016 Friday

Rain continues to fall in the Ark-La-Miss region, and there are reports of nearly 2′ of rain in northern Louisiana. The rain will finally taper off late in the weekend.

New flooding concerns are arising in northern California as several storm systems move onshore over the weekend bringing several inches of rain and feet of snow to the mountains. Mudslides and flooding will likely be issues in the region, but the rain is desperately needed as much of the state is still under extreme drought conditions.

Meanwhile, the Northeast “cools” down a few degrees Friday, but is still very much above normal through the weekend. We’ll get a real dose of reality later next week when winter returns! And dare we say…. Snow could be back in the forecast for some?! So enjoy the warmth while you go it!