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First frost, freeze of year will show up this weekend


We kick off a new month in dramatically different fashion than we started off October. A month ago we were looking at well above normal temperatures, very little moisture and a nice extension of the growing season.

We start off November with cloudy, gray, cold and damp weather, and a front that really is rather uninspiring. But at least we know some turkey is coming later on. So, welcome to November! Let’s unpack what we see during the next 10 days.

Our next system is starting to nose into the region here at midweek. There is decent southwest flow ahead of the system. In fact, precipitation will spread into southern Illinois, southern Indiana and southwest Ohio first before creeping north into central parts of those states. The southwest flow will bump temperatures up a little bit here during the next day or two, and will fuel some precipitation development along the front.

However, do not look for this to be anything overly dramatic. The warmest days of the week may end up being Nov. 2-3. Only scattered precipitation action is expected from late Nov. 1 in those southern locations through the entire day Nov. 2.

A final surge of moisture comes with the actual frontal passage early Nov. 3, and that will be where the best coverage and highest intensity moisture will be. That being said, it’s still not a powerhouse, as we look for one-tenth to six-tenths across 90 percent of Indiana. These will mostly be gentle rains but will lead to enough moisture to slow potential for field work over the second half of the week.

Drier, cooler air moves in behind the front to finish Friday afternoon and Saturday. We actually see a fast-moving high pressure circulation crossing the region. Clouds may be slow to break initially on Nov. 3, but we expect some sun on Saturday.

The major focal point of the 10-day forecast is a storm complex we have been talking about for some time. Models have been consistently pointing toward a significant disturbance for early November, and we have been honed in on a system for Nov. 5-7 since last week. The system looks to come through in two pieces. The first wave hits Nov. 5 with clouds starting their build Saturday night.

This first wave will bring minor rain showers for the most part, a few hundredths to a half-inch over 50 percent of the region. Temperatures will be normal to above normal with good southwest flow. After a little lull from Sunday night through the first half of Nov. 6, the second, stronger wave arrives Monday afternoon and rips across the entire Eastern Corn Belt overnight and the first half of Nov. 7.

That second wave has much more rain and stronger rain intensity. We see the potential for half-inch to 1.5-inch rain totals over 90 percent of Indiana with good chances for thunderstorms, as well. This will be a significant system.

The map shows the cumulative rain totals for the next seven days.

Temperatures turn colder again behind that storm complex, as highs will retreat back to near normal and slightly below normal levels. We should be dry from Nov. 8-11. Another strong storm complex will try and exit the central and southern plains around Nov. 11-12, but the track of the system at this time favors more of a southern route, across the Tennessee Valley and areas south of the Ohio River.

We look for that to slowly creep farther north as we get closer to the event, because there is not any strong phenomenon to keep it south. There is no massive cold air high in place. There is not a major surge south in the jet stream. There is nothing there to keep rain out of the Eastern Corn Belt in that time frame. So, we think there will be a chance for some quarter-inch to 1-inch rain somewhere in there right ahead of mid-month.

Overall, the forecast still does not look to have exceptionally large dry windows to work with. Moderating temperatures will help, but we still likely do not see any more than 2-3 day workable harvest windows; and if we get the heavier rain early next week that we expect, that will slow things further. That being said … 2-3 days here and there is better than nothing.


Ryan Martin is Chief Meteorologist for Hoosier Ag Today, a licensed Commodity Trader and the Farmer Origination Specialist for Louis Dreyfus Company’s Claypool Indiana Soybean Crush Plant. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World.