September 30, 2011
It's not far off and, if you were a fan of last winter's weather, you're in luck. But, if your snowblower needs repairs, you might want to take care of that before Old Man Winter arrives.
Many signs point to a likely repeat of last winter's conditions, with cold temperatures and above-average precipitation in much of the Midwest and drier conditions in the Plains, says Don Keeney, meteorologist with MDA EarthSat Weather. Look for one difference from last year, though.
"It should be noted that the coldest conditions should occur earlier in the winter, with December and January being the colder time periods," Keeney says.
The reason for the repeat in the winter outlook is that the La Nina system that was supposed to be gone by now will likely stay in place through March, says Iowa State University Extension Ag Meteorologist Elwynn Taylor. La Nina is characterized by colder winter temperatures and the potential for a lot more volatile swings in the mercury than normal.
"A year ago, we had one of the three strongest La Ninas in the last 100 years. It did a lot of the things we expected it to do, both in the summer and winter," Taylor says. "Now, we're seeing it restrengthening. Not as harsh or extreme, but similar to last year."
How could this outlook affect things on the farm next spring? Between now and then, the southern Plains should get at least some much-needed moisture for the winter wheat crop there. But, the moisture will be heavier in the northern Plains and northwestern Corn Belt, meaning some of the issues farmers in those areas faced this last spring could come around next year.
Reprinted in part from agriculture.com