Warm temperatures and potentially wetter conditions predicted in the recent climate outlook

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Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Warm temperatures and potentially wetter conditions are forecast for fall in South Dakota, according to the Aug. 18, 2016 seasonal outlook from National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center.

“The update projects a continuing trend of warmer than average temperatures in the months of September through November across most of the United States,” said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist. “Most of the outlooks this year have been consistent in projecting this trend for this fall in South Dakota.”

Precipitation outlook

Edwards said the NOAA outlook for precipitation shows western Dakotas and Montana in a region that is more likely to be wetter than average during the fall season through November.

For eastern South Dakota, rainfall has equal chances of being above, below or near average for the three month period.

“The month of September may end warmer than it began,” Edwards said. “Currently the month ahead is a mixed bag in the climate models, so equal chances of warmer, cooler and near average temperatures are projected.”

She added that the last two weeks of August may end up cooler. “But it is still unclear if that will continue into early September.”

Rainfall is also a challenging forecast for the month ahead.

“Wet conditions have dominated in August, with many areas receiving much above average rainfall in the first three weeks of the month,” explained Edwards.

This trend, she said, is not likely to continue into September. “The climate outlook does not lean especially wet or dry.”

U.S. Drought Monitor

The U.S. Drought Monitor, also released Aug. 18, 2016, shows one category improvement in much of the eastern part of the state and some of the west, reflecting large areas of short term drought relief from recent rains.

“Soybeans are likely to benefit from the ample August rainfall in the state. Unfortunately, the dry mid-summer conditions have already impacted some of the corn crop, and there are many areas around Mitchell that are cutting for silage,” said Edwards, reporting from Dakotafest 2016.

In the western part of the state, the substantial impacts from drought earlier this year will linger on, as rainfall at this time of year benefits some grasses but not the crops.

“There has been some green-up in pastures and range areas, which has reduced the number of fire occurrences and the danger of fires overall,” she said.