In summer months I typically write a monthly outlook for our Georgia cotton and peanut growers. Here is the latest edition for June 2024. It may be generally useful for folks across the Southeast although it is directed towards those in Georgia.

Welcome to summer! Climatologists designate the months of June, July, and August as the official climatological summer instead of using the astronomical dates. Here is your outlook for June 2024 and beyond.

Temperatures across the region have been running warmer than normal, and that is expected to continue over most of June and the rest of summer as global temperatures continue to rise. That does not mean every day will be scorching hot, but you can expect to see degree days accumulating a little quicker than in previous years for both crops and pests (vegetable and insect) that are affected by temperature. The ample moisture we have had over the past month will allow clouds to develop more often than usual, keeping solar radiation a bit lower and also reducing daytime high temperatures but increasing overnight temperatures. The coolest period will likely be early June, with warmer temperatures and higher humidity returning by the second week and lasting the rest of the month.

Rainfall in the Southeast has been generous to say the least, and many producers are behind in planting and other field work because of that. The current weather pattern continues to favor wet conditions for the next few months, so I don’t see a big switch to dry conditions any time soon, although that could change by fall once La Nina starts to develop. Fortunately, there will be some dry periods interspersed between showers that will allow fieldwork to take place, but be sure you watch your local forecast if you are applying anything that needs rain (or needs to avoid it). Spotty showers in summer are always hard to predict and your local conditions may vary depending on exactly where the storm cells go.

This is the start of the Atlantic tropical season, so if you have not done your preparations, now is a good time to do it. This is one of the slowest starts to the tropical season since about 2009, but don’t let that fool you. There is no correlation between when the first storm is named and the number that we get in a year, and as El Nino fades away and is replaced by La Nina, the tropics will become more active. Favorable water temperatures are already present in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, but there is enough residual wind shear from El Nino to keep early tropical waves from developing. The long-range models indicate the second half of June will be much more favorable for tropical storms, so we are likely to see something by the end of June, but no telling where it will go if it does form.

Let me say a word about social media. One of the global models is already indicating the potential for a hurricane to hit Louisiana by mid-June. However, that model, the GFS, is known to whip up hurricanes at the drop of a hat and many of them disappear in the next model run. So be very careful of any forecasts you see on social media because they are likely to be a single (worst-case) model run that does not show a storm in the next run. But also keep in mind that even if it is not a named storm, it could provide windy conditions and a lot of rain, so it may have an impact on agriculture even if it does not have a name. Your best source for information is the National Hurricane Center at They will watch all the models for consistency before predicting a storm will develop. I will also send out more information when a credible threat approaches through email and this blog.

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