Harvest Forecast: Harvest Window About to Reopen

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An absolutely fantastic harvest forecast is ahead of us this morning. After a little rain to start things off, we are going to put together a week’s worth of dry weather over the state. That dry stretch will be headlined by temperatures that climb to above normal levels once again.

A Strong wind will be seen for Saturday as we start things off. Thes winds will average 12-25 mph out of the southwest ahead of a frontal boundary that comes in for Sunday. The winds, along with the sunshine, will increase our evaporation rates and lead to good dry down statewide and should be conducive to fieldwork. The southwest winds will push temps back to above normal levels.

Our ONE chance of rain in the nearby harvest forecast comes Sunday. A strong front is tracking into the state early, with rains starting in the morning, perhaps even racing sunrise for an arrival time. However, the front is moving rather quickly, and that means rains should be done in most locations by late afternoon or evening, ahead of sunset. Rain totals from this system will be around .25”-.75” over about 75% of the state, but we also think that many areas will stay to the lower end of the range. Our thought process there is twofold: 1) the front looks like it may want to move faster, allowing for shorter duration rains in most places, and 2) we look to miss out on most thunderstorm development – those seem to be limited to areas farther west in the corn belt.  The map above shows thoughts of cumulative rains for the event through Sunday evening.

That brings us to the heart of the harvest forecast today. We have a completely dry week coming as high pressure settles in Monday morning and holds all the way through at least this coming Saturday. We will have some cooler air in to start the week behind our Sunday front, but we should not see the lingering clouds and dampness that we saw this past week. Sunshine will help temps bounce quickly and the will see them climb to mostly above normal levels by late in the week, if not by midweek. Evaporation rates will be near maximum by midweek and will hold through the end of the period as well, thanks to strong high pressure. A new wrinkle may need to be watched, as a minor front tries to push into the state around the 22nd into the 23rd. Rain totals there likely stay under .4”, with coverage less than 60% the way things look right now.

Extended Period

In the extended period, we have a front early on, around the 24th, that can bring up to .75” of rain to about 80% of the state, but it is followed up by another strong upper-level high-pressure dome. This will allow for some drying, but also cooler air to come in as we finish the month of October. We could see a second front around the 29th into the 30th that has half to 1.5” rain potential. However, the best rains from that front may stay farther west and north

Weeks 3 & 4:

Cooler air comes in for week three with temps mostly below normal. However, we see near normal precipitation and no fronts that are exceptionally exciting. Week 4 brings temps that are back to normal and above normal levels, and precipitation that is near normal. However, we do see a strong front toward the end of week 4 that has the potential to take precipitation and push it well above normal. The front is large, should have excellent moisture potential and will feature a massive cooldown behind it too. So, early November is a period really to watch, in our opinion this week.

Week 3

 

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: above)
Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)

Week 4

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: above)
Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)

 

And, a look at the potential big front late in week 4:

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