By Jim Noel, NOAA
April was a challenging month. It was a cold month with most of Ohio -1F to -3F below normal for temperatures. We saw late freezes and snow events. Because of the cold, precipitation was generally around or slightly below normal in the 60% to 120% of normal range. However, with limited evaporation and evapotranspiration, soils did not dry much.
Looking forward, May will start off challenging but improvements are forecasted. The first week of May will see a wetter period across Ohio with temperatures generally below normal. Rainfall will range from just under an inch to over 2 inches in places. As we move into the middle and end of May, expect a pattern change to warmer and drier than normal which should open the rapid window for planting.
It appears the chances for a hard freeze are pretty much over. There is still a low chance for some patchy frost especially in northern and eastern Ohio like this weekend but the freeze risk has decreased significantly.
The outlook for summer has not changed much from our last article. We expect slightly above normal temperatures this summer with the typical swings of dry to wet to dry on about a 30 day cycle. Overall, 2022 looks not as receptive to agriculture as it was in 2021 with a bit more of extreme periods including more intense dry and wet periods.
Rainfall totals through mid May will generally be 1-2 inches with isolated 3 inch totals in far western and northern areas as show in the image. You can get updated 16 day rainfall total maps at NOAA/NWS/OHRFC at: https://www.weather.gov/images/ohrfc/dynamic/NAEFS16.apcp.mean.total.png
You can also get the latest short-term evapotranspiration here: https://psl.noaa.gov/eddi/realtime_maps/images/latest.trim.png
The blue areas are short term wetness and the orange/brown areas are short-term rapid drought development so this tool is helpful in the summer.