The good news is that there is at least a chance for some precipitation in the drought-stricken parts of farm country during March. John Baranick, ag meteorologist with DTN, says it’s, unfortunately going to take more than a month of precipitation to get things back on track.
“Especially when you’re talking about western Oklahoma into western Texas, where they’ve almost got the deepest drought you can get. And there are five categories of drought, and they’re in the fourth and fifth categories for that deepest drought. The same thing is true up in northwestern Montana. We’ve got better chances again for them to see precipitation as well throughout March, but it’s going to take more than just one month to do it.”
Other areas will get more significant benefit from March precipitation.
“Now talking about South Dakota to Kansas, the drought isn’t as deep as it is for their north and south, so a good month’s worth of precipitation could cause some benefit there. That would also include some of the drought that’s up around Wisconsin as well, but those areas that are farther north and farther south are going to take more than one month. And as we kind of step through April and into May, we don’t see a pattern that would favor those areas getting significant moisture.”
Baranick says some areas will start to notice signs of spring as March goes by.
“We’ve seen it at times too actually during February, as we’ve been kind of in that waffling pattern change. We’ve had some days out in the Dakotas where it’s been in the 60s, which is pretty abnormal for this time of year. That’s more like the 50s unless you’re in Nebraska, then you’re seeing the 60s and 70s again, but seeing more normal type temperatures for this time of year going into the early parts of March. Now, after the first week, we get kind of in a colder pattern again, so it might take until kind of mid-to-late March to see that, but that’s kind of typical for this time of year anyway. That’s really when we start to see springtime kind of pop up here. We get warmer waves and temperatures moving through, so I think March is going to be a good start to spring actually in terms of temperatures.”