Climate outlooks favor cooler than average July

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center June 19 Outlook states a 70 percent likelihood of El Nino development sometime during the months of July, August and September which could be good news for those in the region who have been experiencing flooding from extreme events in June, explained Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist.

“Precipitation can be a particularly difficult challenge to forecast for months or seasons in advance during the summer, but the latest projection through September favors wetter conditions for all but the southeast part of the state,” Edwards said.

She added that although it is always possible to get some localized extreme rain events; forecasting rain amounts 30 to 90 days in advance is nearly impossible. “The probability of above average rain is the same as below or near average rain for the southeastern counties that have been inundated in the last two weeks.” she said.

She is quick to add however, that the cooler and wetter conditions during the summer that is often associated with El Nino is not necessarily a reliable forecast.

“There is a lot of variability in our area as far what El Nino brings our way,” Edwards said.

Overall, Edwards said the outlook showed South Dakotans seeing cooler than average temperatures through July. “Almost the whole state is favored to be cooler than average in the climate models,” said Edwards. “This has been a consistent trend over the last few months. The only exception is the southeast part of the state.”

As for precipitation in July, the recently released outlooks indicate western counties to lean on the wetter side. The eastern half of South Dakota has equal chances of being wetter, drier, or near average for the month.

For the rest of the growing season through September, the outlook shows a continuation of cooler than average temperatures to be more likely than either warmer than average or near-average temperatures.

“The climate models are really keying in on El Nino-like conditions for the summer,” says Dennis Todey, SDSU Extension State Climatologist. “The take-home message is that the likelihood of stress from dry or hot conditions is largely reduced for most of the state.”

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