Nebraska farmers who are looking ahead to the spring planting season are carefully watching the demise of the La Nina weather pattern to see what may come next. Dennis Todey, director of the Midwest Climate Hub, says it’s almost over.
“The La Nina right now is on life support,” Todey says. “We’ll have to see if we can call this a full-fledged La Nina or not. It did reach La Nina category but maybe not for a long enough period of time to be called a full-fledged La Nina.”
Surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are fluctuating and may have an impact across North America. Cooling temperatures the last few months created a La Nina effect, but now that may be vanishing. Todey says the climate experts don’t agree yet on what may happen next.
“There’s a small chance we’ll get back to El Nino by summertime, but it seems unlikely at this point,” Todey says. “Now, we’re looking at shorter-term types of things. What’s our soil moisture looking like? Do we see any kind of big ridges that would set in for any kind of reason.”
While much of the region hasn’t seen much snow so far this winter, he predicts most of the Northern Plains should see a January thaw.
“It looks like most of the big-time cold is going to stay away for a while, it’s going to stay well up into Canada and that’s a good thing,” Todey says. “We actually may start to see some melting of snow in some of the areas. It should be warm enough to do that. The heavier snowpack areas, we probably won’t do too much eating into that for a while.”
He says his office should have a better idea about potential spring weather in the next 30 days.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton