Many of you complain about how poor the seasonal forecasts are and how much you would like to have better long-range forecasts for planning purposes. While predicting a specific weather event a year in advance is never going to happen, you might be interested in reading this story from Growing Produce on advances that scientists are making in improving predictions of long-term climate trends several months ahead. That can provide enough information to help producers determine whether it is likely to be too risky to plant something that needs a lot of water in a year that is likely to be drier than usual, although of course the markets and what they have historically planted are always going to be considered as well. The predictions can also take into account long-term trends we are observing in temperature and precipitation, which can affect the growing season and the water balance.

Map of local shifts in rainfall