Was March any indicator of the next few months? – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Was March any indicator of the next few months?

Staying true to global climate trends these days, March 2020 finished warmer and wetter than the 1981-2010 climate normal period.  Snowfall across the state was below normal and localized flooding was a common feature.  There were 3-to-5 more days than average in March where rainfall was observed (Figure 1).  This has led to saturated soils throughout the state and a desperate need for some drying out.

Will that happen?  The national Climate Prediction Center is currently sending mixed messages.  The April outlook suggests increased confidence in temperatures being warmer than average and slight confidence that precipitation will be above normal.  However, shorter-range outlooks are suggesting even greater confidence for cooler temperatures throughout the rest of the month with uncertainty about rainfall amounts relative to normal.  A significant cold wave is expected to pass through the state over the next several days into next week.  Overnight lows will be at or below freezing, so the recent period of warm days may have set up vegetation to be at significant risk for frost/freeze damage.  At this time, it does not look as if April 2020 will be as wet as April 2019.  However, delayed planting may be necessary so keep an eye out for those dry periods to get planting and condition monitoring in when you can!

To keep track of recent frost/freeze data and explore climatological probabilities of frost/freeze events still occurring, checking out the Midwestern Regional Climate Center’s Vegetation Impact Program’s Frost Freeze Guidance products.  This suite of tools can show the date of the most recent freeze event (32°F and 28°F), how many days since the last freeze event (can be an indicator of early growth and green-up), how many frost/freeze days have occurred over the past 14 days and a variety of freeze climatologies.

Indiana precipitation

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