The latest climate outlook for the US was released today by NOAA. The outlook showed that the outlook for June only showed slight leanings in temperature and precipitation in the area around Florida, but the 3-month outlook for June through August shows that for the entire Southeast, temperatures are expected to be warmer than normal, especially in the area around Florida, and nearly all of the region is expected to be wetter than normal. This is good news for farmers because it means that a prolonged drought is unlikely, although dry spells may occur and some limited drought is certainly possible. It also means that humidity levels are likely to be high and that will lead to more fungal diseases due to the generally moist conditions.
With lots of available moisture, there is a higher likelihood of scattered showers occurring frequently through the summer, which could cause some problems for hay producers and others who might need several days of dry weather to get field work done. Farmers will want to be watching the weather forecasts for windows of opportunity between rain spells if hay cutting or chemical applications need dry conditions. Due to the expected wet conditions, the drought in Florida is predicted to go away over the next couple of months.
The seasonal outlook for winter show the typical pattern for a strong El Nino, with wetter conditions than normal covering a lot of the southern half of our region. Warmer than normal conditions are predicted for the winter in spite of El Nino’s tendency to bring cooler temperatures. Not surprising since winter is the season with the fastest warming due to climate change, so the prediction is likely showing the high likelihood of the trend continuing. You can view these outlooks at https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/90day/.