The country is in a borderline weak La Nina at the moment, and below-normal water temperatures below the surface of the ocean will help support La Nina weather conditions at least through the end of the year, according to MDA Service senior agricultural meteorologist Kyle Tapley. Because there is not a lot of really cool water below the surface, however, there won’t be any real strengthening of La Nina anytime soon, he said.
Tapley said the consensus of models currently show a weak La Nina through the remainder of the year, with warming subsequently occurring in the Pacific Ocean early next year and into the spring of 2017.
“As we get to early next year, it’s still a little bit tough to say. I think we’ll see a gradual weakening of La Nina as we move toward early next year,” he said.
The U.S. government had issued a La Nina watch, then cancelled it but has once again reinstated it.
“It really doesn’t matter if we reach it or not,” Tapley said “We’re already seeing some impacts globally, and we’re likely to continue to see some impacts at least through the end of this year and probably into early next year, as well. It’s too early to say what direction will be heading for the next growing season.”
While some rain is expected, weather during the remainder of the U.S. harvest will likely be pretty uneventful.
“I think we’ll have a pretty good end to harvest across the Corn Belt, with no major issues going forward,” he added.
As for the winter season, Tapley said December through February forecasts show below-normal precipitation across the southern tier of the U.S. and above-normal precipitation across the Pacific Northwest into the northern Plains.