Warmer Weather, Finally!

As recently as last Wednesday and Thursday (May 13-14), some locations across Ohio had morning lows dipping down to near or below freezing (Figure 1). This follows numerous frost and freeze events since mid-April that led to reports of damage to vegetables, tree fruit, and certain grape varieties, and some minor leaf-tip damage to wheat and alfalfa. For more information on recent climate conditions, check out the weekly Hydro-Climate Assessment from the State Climate Office of Ohio.  

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Figure 1: Morning lows on left) May 13, 2020 and right) May 14, 2020. Figures courtesy of the Midwest Regional Climate Center (https://mrcc.illinois.edu).

But it seems as though we have turned a corner on this cool weather; after all, June is fast approaching and there is still some work to be done. Will the weather cooperate?

Unfortunately, we have a slow-moving system and weak cold front this week that is already providing a focal point for numerous showers and storms across the state. Tropical Storm Arthur, moving up the U.S. east coast, is slowing the progression of this system, with expected lingering showers throughout the week across the region. Heavy rain and some flooding are possible, especially over portions of western and southern Ohio, where 2-4 inches of rain are expected with locally heavier amounts (Figure 2). This is well above the 1 inch per week we typically see this time of year. Lighter amounts are forecast for northeast Ohio.

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Figure 2: Forecast precipitation for the next 7 days. Valid from 8am Monday May 18, 2020 through 8 am Monday May 25, 2020. Figure from the Weather Prediction Center https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/).

Temperatures are likely to cool a bit behind the cold front on Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs below average in the 50s and 60s. A moderating trend in temperatures is likely by the weekend, with highs returning to the 70s and 80s. This may also bring some scattered thunderstorm activity.

The latest NOAA/NWS/Climate Prediction Center outlook for the 6-10 day period (May 24-28) shows a strong likelihood for above average temperatures with slightly elevated probability for above average precipitation (Figure 3). Normal highs during the period should be in the low to mid-70s (north to south) with overnight lows in the upper 40s to mid-50s and about 0.9-1.10” of precipitation per week. The 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center reflects well above average precipitation over the next couple of weeks, largely a reflection of this week’s wet weather.   

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Figure 3: Climate Prediction Center 6-10 Day Outlook valid for May 24-28, 2020 for left) temperatures and right) precipitation. Colors represent the probability of below, normal, or above normal conditions.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.

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