Forecast: Extreme Weathermen

Buckeye Farm Beat

Climate was a key topic at the Conservation Tillage Conference – especially with a winter storm looming.

Published on: March 15, 2013

He urged farmers to consider residue and cover crops as ways to mitigate the extreme weather. "Residue feeds the soil biology below it. In the short term you increase infiltration and decrease Water evaporation. In the long-term you increase soil organic matter and improve the soil environment."  

Jim Noel, OSU climatologist, offered some insights into what the weather may have in store this spring in the latest issue of C.O.R.N.

"Historic data such as big U.S. droughts like the 2012 drought or sunspot peaks suggest a slightly colder and wetter spring in the Ohio Valley including Indiana and Ohio. Those same historic indicators also suggested a slightly warmer and wetter winter along with near normal snowfall. That is exactly how winter came out and what the National Weather Service called for. At the same time our climate models suggest a slightly warmer March to May period with precipitation not far from normal.
The main message this spring growing season is most of our data does not suggest the record wet 2011 or record dry 2012 or the record heat of 2012. Most data suggest closer to either side of normal.
"Therefore, the outlook for the spring growing season is for temperatures to go from colder than normal in March and early April to slightly warmer than normal by May. At the same time rainfall will likely be close to or slightly wetter than normal. Originally in winter it looked like spring would be slightly warmer and slightly wetter than normal. The main change is the first half of spring looks continued chilly. There is increased risked of some later freezes this spring especially compared to 2012."

I am a regular listener to the local TV weather men on the 11 p.m. news and I am convinced they think the best way to boost their ratings is to call for as extreme a weather event as possible. It doesn't help when that hit it right as in their prediction of heavy snowfall for the northwestern part of the state following the Tuesday session of the CTC.  A little bit of normal in terms of the weather would be just fine with me.