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Weather Southeastern Farmers Can Look Forward to This Growing Season

Last year was a phenomenal growing season in the southeast, and farmers would certainly like to think that this year will make it two in a row. USDA’s meteorologist Brad Rippey details the long-range weather outlook:

“The overall outlook for the next several months is pretty favorable for the most part. We have at least normal to above normal precipitation through June. One thing to watch is a lot of the models for the 1-3 month period are showing a lot of warmth, which is a bid odd since we have had such a cold March. What is really driving that is a high pressure system that is parked over Greenland that has funneled cold air to the US, especially the Midwestern and Southeastern states during March.”

That ridge of high pressure could be gone any minute says Rippey:

“If that were to break down, we would see a pretty rapid warm up. We may have a spring that feels like winter and then suddenly feels hot. That is one thing that we will have to watch heading into the crop season, is extreme heat. Not unlike what we saw in part of the Midwest last year.”

And when that weather pattern over Greenland moves away:

“The forecast is to see a rapid spring when it finally does arrive late in April.”

But, Rippey warns that there is a pocket of dryness has shown up in the last couple of months:

“Over the last 1-2 months we have seen a pocket of dryness developing over eastern NC, and creeping into the surrounding areas. Its very localized but is one thing to watch as this spring dryness starts to crop up in a few areas that are key to agriculture in the southeast.”

Rippey explains that the waters in the equatorial Pacific are neutral:

“Its giving forecasters fits right now because the influence of the Pacific is so profound on the US. That is one thing that forecasters often look to. And right now we are neutral, we don’t have El Nino or La Nina right now. It makes it really tough to try to look for other signals that might be tipping the balance. In March it was that system over Greenland that was creating the cold and stormy weather.”

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey. 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.