Farmers and ranchers are digging out after a weekend blizzard swept across a large chunk of the U.S. The weather system responsible for this blizzard extended from the Texas Panhandle and Delta northward to the Canadian border. World Weather Incorporated says snowfall totals from a foot to two feet were seen from north-central South Dakota through east-central and southeastern North Dakota to northern Minnesota. The highest totals came at Ellendale and Jamestown, North Dakota with 26 inches. High wind gusts reaching 50 and 60 mph were also apart of the storm system, with Sand Lake, South Dakota clocking a 65 mph gust. Some parts of North Dakota received an entire winter’s worth of snowfall by end of December.
There may not be a long growing season this fall. According to World Weather Incorporated Senior Agricultural Meteorologist Drew Lerner, data is causing concern. “There are three weather cycles playing out right now, including El Nino and the lunar cycle. El Nino is wimpy and it might dissipate in the next few weeks.” Lerner says the lunar cycle is the number one reason for the wet weather and cool bias coming back in regular intervals.
The third factor is the solar minimum. “There is a tendency for solar minimum years to help continue cool outbreaks. If the lunar cycle is already promoting a cooler tendency in the atmosphere, the solar cycle will come along and reinforce that,” says Lerner. “We are concerned a shorter growing season is more likely than a longer one.”
While wet weather continues to plague much of the Midwest, parts of North Dakota, northwest Minnesota and Canada’s Central Prairies remain on the dry side. World Weather, Incorporated senior ag meteorologist Drew Lerner says that June will bring some change to the current weather pattern.
“A ridge of high pressure should build up across the U.S. Plains as we go through the month,” says Lerner. “Unfortunately, it may be difficult for that ridge to shut down all the wet conditions. The good news is these storm tracks will end up running across some of the drier areas in southern Canada and the northern-most part of the U.S. Plains.”
Northarvest Bean Grower – Our Mission:
NHBGA, growers representing growers through the check-off system, is North America’s largest supplier of quality dry beans. Working together to better the industry through promotion, research, market development, education of consumers and monitoring of governmental policy. Our future goals must be continued market exposure and careful monitoring of new ideas, consumer choices, and producer needs.
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