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Long-range Weather Outlook Still Unclear

Here we are looking at the first of October, and September has been cool, but dry, not unlike the summer, which was also cool, but wet. So, what does the weather hold for October and November as farmers try to get their season wrapped up? North Carolina State Climatologist Dr. Ryan Boyles:

“We have had a continuation of the cool temperatures across September, but its really dried out. Looking ahead we don’t have a lot of meaningful guidance. We have some models that say it will be wet, others say it will be dry. We don’t know where to lean. That’s not atypical for this time of year when we don’t have an el Nino event.”

October also brings the tail end of hurricane season, which this year has been virtually non-existent. Boyles says it may be the end of the season, but it’s certainly not over:

“We have only had two hurricanes, and one of those was hurricane strength for just 24 hours. Moving into October we can see major hurricanes. Its not the end of the season but it has been a very slow season given how warm the ocean has been.”

All that energy in the ocean has to go somewhere, and as Boyles explains its just a matter of where and in what form:

“The energy in the ocean has to balance out. The energy from that heat has to be transported from the tropics to the poles. There is a lot of moisture there and if it doesn’t feed tropical storms, we might see more intense mid-latitude storms and winter type storms. As cold fronts come through and they pick up that heat and moisture that can bring us some meaningful rainfall. Many are looking for some rain, but too much is always a problem.”

So, with all that being said, what ARE the predictions for the next couple of months? Boyles:

“The crystal ball is pretty cloudy. Things could shift in the next few weeks and we could go into a more wet pattern but there is a lot of uncertainty. Its always tough to predict more than a few days in advance. That’s one of the reasons that crops here do as well as they do because we typically have dry falls and it gives us lots of time to be out in the fields. All of the national weather maps have a lot of “white” in the future, it’s for equal chances. They just don’t have guidance for the next six months.”

Dr. Ryan Boyles, NC State Climatologist. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.