A Check at the Weather

Cattle grazing on green grass under a stormy sky
17 Nov 2022

Fall harvest wrapped up quickly across many western corn-belt states. Drought conditions and virtually no weather delays allowed farmers to expedite field work. Some soybean crops in southern Nebraska were harvested with 6% moisture, which is incredibly uncommon. 

Across Minnesota, farmers had made significant progress harvesting ahead of the first measurable snowfall event of the season. Topsoil moisture across the state is rated 23% very short, 40% short and 37% adequate. Subsoil moisture is 19% very short, 39% short and 42% adequate.

Like many other states including Kansas, North and South Dakota, top and sub soil moisture is mostly short to very short of ideal levels. In fact, this is the 6th driest year on record over the past 30 years across the region. Most of Wisconsin, except for northwestern counties, have avoided extreme dry conditions.

As we inch deeper into the winter months, most areas missed out on valuable fall recharge moisture. Present soil conditions give us an accurate indication of where the 2023 planting season will begin, and it looks dry.

Other parts of the world are also battling dry conditions. For the third year in a row, La Nina conditions persist across the equatorial Pacific. This trend encourages drier conditions across a good chunk of Brazil and Argentina. The protracted drought is impacting corn and soybean yields with no large-scale relief in sight.

Heading into the first part of December, a bubble of warmer air is sprawling out across the western United States and inching into the Midwest. Looks like western and southern sections of the corn belt will see above normal temperatures with near to below normal temperatures across North Dakota, much of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This cold flow across the northern section of the Midwest will likely support a series of Canadian clippers that will shake lose near normal snowfall. Further south, the dry trend will likely continue.

The long-range forecast for the winter of 2022 and 2023 is suggesting this trend may continue. Colder than normal conditions across our region are likely, and that will typically usher in near to above normal snowfall.

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Written By: Steve Wohlenhaus
Steve Wohlenhaus is CEO of Weatherology, the leading company in the world in disseminating audio weather information. Steve began his career as a major market television weather anchor in Minneapolis, where he received several Emmy Awards for science programming. Steve is an author and host of the podcast program Anatomy of Success. Steve has been named a top 50 influencer in the world on LinkedIn in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Learn more about his work and grab the free Weatherology mobile app by visiting www.weatherology.com.