If you thought September was warm, you were correct. Last month was the 2nd warmest September for the contiguous US, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
It was the warmest September ever for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan; and among the top 10 for the rest of the Cornbelt.
For the period of July to Sept, the national average temperature was the 8th warmest, and the precipitation ranking was at 51, which is on the drier side of average. For the April to September growing season 2015 was the 4th warmest and 3rd wettest in the past 121 years. (No wonder your crops had fungus!)
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center reported Thursday, “All models surveyed predict El Niño to continue into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2016, and all multi-model averages predict a peak in late fall / early winter. The forecaster consensus unanimously favors a strong El Niño.
Overall, there is an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, gradually weakening through spring 2016. Outlooks generally favor below-average temperatures and above-median precipitation across the southern tier of the United States, and above-average temperatures and below-median precipitation over the northern tier of the United States.”
We think we know what El Nino is going to bring while it visits this winter and next spring, based on an average, which is what is typically offered up. But there has to be some divergence from a trend. The El Nino watchers at NOAA point to a wide variation in precipitation during El Nino winters Some have 15 inches of precipitation more than the average El Nino and some have 15 inches or less of normal precipitation, when normal is based on the average El Nino between 1951 and 2010.
Out of that 60 year span, there is a 30 inch span of precipitation across the Cornbelt. NOAA specialists report, “For much of the country, the current seasonal outlook looks a lot like the pattern of average El Niño outcomes. However, as forecasters can tell you, those average outcomes can be pulled apart into specific examples which may sometimes stray from the averages. Some places have a pretty consistent response, and for these areas, confidence in outcomes is higher. In other places, the signal is anything but consistent.”
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Contact Stu at StuAgNews@aol.com