Our attention now turns to the summer growing season and what is in store. Some things are different this summer.
- The ocean temperatures are cooling in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean while ocean temperatures are above normal in the Gulf of Mexico into parts of the Caribbean. In addition, Lake Erie water temperatures will trend from cooler to warmer than normal as we get late into the growing season.
- With recent rains, soil moisture has increased again in Ohio and remains above normal in much of the corn and soybean belt. The soils are not as wet as 2019 but with above normal soil moisture will come plenty of evapotranspiration. In 2019 for Ohio, soil moisture generally ranked in the top 1-5% wettest while currently we are in the top 5-15% wettest. https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Soilmst_Monitoring/Figures/daily/curr.w.rank.daily.gif
- Research shows 30-50% of summer rains come from local evapotranspiration from crops, trees etc. Given the wet soil conditions overall, expect a wetter than normal first half of summer, but not like last summer. We are likely to see the typical summer thunderstorm complexes in June and July ride along the high moisture content boundary of the corn crop from the northern Plains to Ohio.
- Rainfall becomes more uncertain the second half of summer. Given the warm Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean it will likely favor increased storm activity down there. When that happens we often dry out some at least in late summer up here.
- The outlook for June-August calls for slightly above normal temperatures with rainfall going from (above normal) first half to (normal or below normal) second half of summer. The above normal temperatures are favored more on overnight low temperatures versus daytime high temperatures due to soil moisture.
The latest climate outlooks are available at: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/