August and early fall climate outlook

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Cooler than average temperatures are expected to persist through August in northern South Dakota, according to the latest climate outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

The outlook, released July 17, 2014, indicates that most of northern South Dakota is leaning towards cooler than average temperatures for the month ahead, explained Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist.

“The south central and central parts of the state have equal chances of above average, near average, and below average temperatures for August,” Edwards said. “This is consistent with the trend of a cooler than average summer that has been forecast this year.”

As far as precipitation goes, Edwards said that the western half of the state is more likely to have a wetter than average month in August. This is the northern part of a large area of the southwest that is projected to have an active wet monsoon season.

“The three-month period of August through October is still forecast to be cooler than average across the whole state,” Edwards said. “The climate models are strongly tied to El Niño, with some data showing cooler and wetter across the north central states in the early fall season.”

Edwards said the latest outlooks reflect the strong likelihood of El Niño meeting the criteria for official designation sometime this fall. The indicators that determine El Niño conditions are oceanic and atmospheric conditions near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, which can impact climate in North America.

“The current data show that El Niño is 70-80 percent likely to develop before the winter season,” Edwards said. “We aren’t sure on how strongly this will impact our area, but overall it appears as if it will be weak to moderate strength.”

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