Challenging conditions remain into April

By Jim Noel, NOAA

Temperatures and rainfall

Temperatures will start the first 7 days of April 1-3 degrees F above normal. Rainfall will start April below normal — about half of normal. That is some good news as the end of March (as forecast) was very wet. However, most indications are for after the first week of April, temperatures will be near normal and rainfall slightly above normal. This will put pressure on early spring planting in April. Evaporation and evapotransporation will be held in check by closer to normal temperatures as we go through April. The May outlook calls for warmer than normal and a little wetter than normal but not as wet as last year.

Soil moisture and temperatures

Soil temperatures have come out of winter above normal due to heavy saturation and the mild winter. However, soil moisture remains in the top 1% to 10% wettest on record, so it is wet. With excess moisture to get rid of in the soils, expect soil temperatures to trend quickly from above normal to near normal.

Freeze and frost

The normal time for the last hard freeze typically ranges from about April 10 to April 20 from south to north. Frost is not uncommon into very early May. All indications remain that about a normal last frost and freeze can be expected this spring.

Summary

Most indications have not changed from the outlooks this winter. The spring planting season overall looks a bit warmer and wetter than average but not quite as wet as 2019. Therefore, expect challenging conditions at least through April if not May.

The latest NOAA climate information can be found at: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

The latest river and soil information can be found at: https://www.weather.gov/ohrfc/

The latest Water Resources Outlooks can be found at: https://www.weather.gov/ohrfc/WRO

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