Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — April 2, 2018

A cold, damp pattern unfolds across Ohio again this week, and we look to keep that cold, active forecast even through the extended forecast window. Here are the details.

This morning, we have precipitation leaving the state to the east and south. This is the remnant of the light rain and snow that pushed in last evening and continued through the overnight. . Moisture totals were generally a few hundredths to about .4” liquid equivalent. We should see sunshine for several hours today as high pressure sweeps quickly through the state, ending up in north northeast Ohio by mid-afternoon. On the backside of that high, though, clouds will begin to increase again toward sunset.

A significant frontal boundary will cross the state tomorrow. Action begins a little ahead of sunrise tomorrow morning and then goes through sunrise and mid-morning on Wednesday. Total rains will be from .25”-1.25”, and coverage will be 100% of the state. Fueling the rain event will be south winds ahead of the front, bringing up the warmest air of the week into the circulation. Overnight, as cold air starts to come in on the backside of the system, we can see precipitation end as spotty snow in NW and north central Ohio, and rains move off to the east. Tomorrow will be the only day this week where we find ourselves above normal. The map shows cumulative precipitation through Wednesday morning.

Much colder air is on the way in for Wednesday morning, as we mentioned above. There can be some wet snow around Wednesday, but those threats seem to be mitigated by midday. Mostly, we expect Wednesday to just be cloudy and cold. Temps will be well below normal, and may barely break freezing in far northern areas.

Thursday should be dry statewide, and we see some sun in there. But, minor moisture moves in over the northeast part of the state overnight Thursday night into Friday. This will likely be aided by some lake enhancement. But, most of Friday should be precipitation free as well, even though clouds will be the predominate sky condition. A fast moving little wave moves through from Friday evening into Saturday morning, bringing a few hundredths of an inch to .25” liquid equivalent of a mix of rain and snow to areas south of I-70. There is not much moisture here, but it is testament to the cold air, and will give the potential for a bit of a mess as we start the weekend.

Saturday has high pressure in controls across the state, and Sunday looks mostly dry as well. Cold air to start Saturday will moderate to near normal temps for Sunday. South and southeast winds will help with that.

We start next week damp again. Liquid equivalent precipitation can be from .1
-.7” with 70% coverage over Ohio. Far NW parts of the state may only see clouds and a few hundredths of an inch. But the farther south you go, the better chance for rains. There is a chance of some of that coming as a mixt of rain and snow closer to US 30, especially in NE Ohio, but generally, the rest of the region just is looking at a cold rain. Tuesday and Wednesday of next week look like they want to stay dry.
In the extended window, a strong low moves over the great lakes to finish next week on Friday. The track right now looks to keep the heaviest moisture over Michigan, but we are leaving the door open for .25”-.66” of rain across Ohio from late the 13th through the 14th, as the cold front associated with that northern low sweeps southeast. We also have a concern that the front will stall over the eastern corn belt near the I-70 corridor for the 15th and 16th, bringing an additional half to 1” of rain to the southern half of the state. More data is needed on this event, but it is entirely in the realm of possibility. Looking past the 11-16 day forecast window, we are watching another front for closer to the 18th, with additional light rain potential.

Overall, this forecast is active. We do not see overly heavy rains with any significant confidence beyond what we see for tomorrow. But, we do see enough light moisture coming with ample frequency, along with rather cold air in the short term, to say that our field work chances through the first half of April are minimal to non-existent. In fact, we likely will start the second half of April with a soil profile a little on the “too wet” side. Cool temps will hinder drying conditions as well, exacerbating the issue.

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