Here is what this past week’s rainfall across the winter wheat belt looked like. Given the much warmer than average weather the last two weeks, the wheat is way ahead of schedule. This makes it much more vulnerable to a late-season hard freeze. That said, the wheat around Wichita looks great.
According to Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman, agriculture will have to produce in the next 30 years as much as it has produced in the last 10,000 in order to feed our world!
I would like to thank Greg Agaki and WIBW Radio today for inviting me to participate in their commodity forum where we discussed issues of importance to agriculture.
Other speakers included U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman. Secretary Rodman made an interesting point: That agriculture will have to produce over the next 30 years as much as it produced in the last 10,000!
Moisture conditions generally continue to improve in the winter wheat belt, but in most areas west of U.S. 81 quite a bit more rain is needed to catch up after the deficits of 2011.
Here is a map of precipitation the last 90 days:
And, here is a percent of normal map:
The precipitation outlook the next two weeks is relatively good for the region.
Is the first decade+ of the 21st century the warmest in the past 100 years (as per Peter Gleick’s argument)? Yes, but the very small positive trend is not consistent with the expectation of 0.2C/decade provided by the IPCC AR4. In terms of anticipating temperature change in the coming decades, the AGW dominated prediction of 0.2C/decade does not seem like a good bet, particularly with the prospect of reduced solar radiation. —- Dr. Judith Curry, Climate Scientist
WattsUpWithThat has run two recent articles pertaining to the threat of global cooling. Based on my research, significant cooling would be far worse for humanity than warming.
The first article, by Dr. Nicola Scafetta, discusses the linking of solar-lunar cycles to earth’s temperature.
The IPCC’s forecast is failing miserably. Only 16% of the months since 2007 are within the green band when 95% are supposed to be within it. All of the misses are on the cold side. If the IPCC is too warm at four years then they are likely too warm at 40 years.
The second forecast is by David Archibald who forecast the solar slowdown far before it happened. It is downright frightening. Major cooling will cut world agriculture production.
Finally, there is a third forecast of cooling, available here.
As I have said before, I have no idea whether the forecasts of cooling, warming, or status quo will be correct. I am confident the IPCC’s 2007 and, especially, 2004 forecasts are too warm.
Reader asked for it, here it is. The map below is precipitation the last 60 days. Green = 2-4″ and red = 20″ (!) or more.
Yes, the drought continues to be quite severe in south Texas, New Mexico, and southeast Louisiana (the latter is getting rain right now).
Here is a map of percentage of normal precipitation the last 60 days. Scale at right.
Here is a map of precipitation (rain and the moisture contained in the snow) from the recent storm. Badly, badly needed moisture west of I-135 north of Wichita and west of I-35 south of Wichita.
|click to enlarge|
Wheat farmers are rejoicing in most areas.
Below is the 60-day percent of normal map for the winter wheat belt. While the severe drought continues in the southern Rockies, the green through blue and violet colors indicates improvement with at least 125% of normal rainfall.
This time from the U.S. Department of Agriculture about their terrible track record forecasting recent corn crops:
USDA officials blame unpredictable weather for recent errant production forecasts. They say the figures are snapshots that change based on fresh information, such as damage caused by heat waves or changes in consumption patterns.
This is nonsense. Between satellites aloft which monitor crop condition and newer radar-based precipitation estimates calibrated by rain gauges, the ability to monitor weather conditions has never been better.
Weather science continues to make tremendous strides. It is past time for weather to cease being the “all purpose excuse.”
Designer Drugs are so five minutes ago. Now its Custom Bacteria. Reporter Dan Voorhis picks up the story.
This is, apparently, a serious news story:
SAN LUIS VALLEY — If aphids measured more than a quarter of an inch and had a pair of thumbs, the Valley’s human population would not have survived summer 2011.
Here is what the storm looks like now:
I have marked with red arrows the leading edge of the storm. The yellow “L” is the low pressure center still well off the coast.
The National Weather Service’s meteorologist-created (as opposed to pure computer model) forecast of rainfall amounts has now increased and they have scooted the axis of heaviest rainfall farther east.
|Click to enlarge|
The one point of disagreement I have with this forecast is that I believe it is under-forecasting the amount of rain near the Kansas-Oklahoma border. The models have been quite consistent forecasting amounts near 5″ in an area bordered by Dodge City – Pratt – Woodward.
|Wheat has dropped 45¢/bushel since the forecast of rain was posted.|
The computer models have been trending toward heavier amounts and the main precipitation band a bit farther east — right over the heart of the winter wheat belt. Let’s review:
|From AccuWeather.com’s Professional site
Legend below European model
United States’ Medium Range Model
|National Weather Service GFS model|
The foreign models were run from data as of 7am Central time this morning. The U.S. model was run from data at 1pm. Interestingly, the U.S. 7am version had a 10″ rain area between Pratt, KS and Woodward, OK. That seems a little extreme but clearly, the models today have trended upward in the amount of rain forecast.
If there is any bad news here, the worst of the drought is along and west of U.S. Highway 83 (McCook, NE – Garden City, KS – Amarillo) and, if the European and U.S. forecasts are correct, that area will only receive light to moderate amounts.
Well, this is interesting.
Take a look at the points of origin of readers of my stories about the rain in the U.S. winter wheat belt. While the U.S. has the most readers, there is significant readership in nations that purchase winter wheat (Russia, China) and produce spring and winter wheat (Canada, Brazil, Australia).
I do not do commodities nor do I focus on those markets. However, the impending major rain event over the winter wheat belt will almost certainly move markets this week.
Unlike most crops, winter wheat is planted in the autumn. In fact, wheat planting should have been in full force by now but it has been delayed by the extreme drought. Wheat “emergence” (i.e., when the seed sprouts and a shoot can been seen above the ground) is well behind. For example, in Oklahoma 8% of the wheat has usually emerged by this point. Unfortunately, none has so far.
So, the forecast rain will be welcome and preliminary indications are that it will be substantial.
Last night’s run of the European forecast model (today’s precipitation output is not available) showed widespread 4 to 5.5″ rainfall from the Texas Big Bend to Great Bend, Kansas.
|From AccuWeather’s Professional web site. Click to enlarge. Scale below.|
This morning’s Japanese model run also shows substantial rains over the next nine days:
The U.S. medium-range model shows lesser amounts of rainfall during the same period, but it is still substantial:
So, if these forecasts are anywhere near correct, this will be enough rain to get the crop into the ground and have it emerge. There are indications that there will be additional rain over the area between the 10th and 17th. Let’s hope so.
ADDITION: The forecasts have been remarkably consistent. Compare the forecasts above to the one I posted Friday afternoon.
Here is a satellite image at 4pm CDT of the storm as it approaches the Northwest. It will take a turn to the southeast after it moves across the coast.
For much of 2011, the upper atmospheric weather pattern has looked like this:
A high pressure center covering the central and western United States.
Since yesterday both the European (shown here) and U.S. extended range computer models shows a low coming into the central United States:
|ten day ECMWF model valid Friday, October 7|
The low, centered near Reno, is what will cause the early start of the rainy season in California and will bring rain to much of the West. There is a chance — just a chance — that some desperately needed rain may occur from Texas to Kansas.
However, the U.S. extended-range model (from 10 to 15 days) shows the western system rapidly weakening and moving farther north.
Given 2012 winter wheat planting that is occurring now, these model forecasts have the potential to move markets, so I decided to comment on them even though, at this point, it is only educated speculation as to whether significant rain may fall in the winter wheat belt.
An important interview in The Wall Street Journal.
The last three weeks, I have written almost exclusively about weather and weather-related topics. With so many new readers, I wish to point out that one of the goals of this blog is to talk about applications of science.
As world supplies shrink relative to demand, the Wall Street Journal has the story of
This is potentially a big deal. With ethanol-driven demand for corn and the severe drought on the southwest side of the corn belt, we need every bushel we can raise.