If you want the full spring weather forecast from Greg Soulje, a climatologist based in Chicago with a good track record, you'll have to wait until the April issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer arrives. But here's a sneak peak. You may not want to look once you know what it says!
Believe it or not, according to his predictions, there could be cooler than normal, wetter than normal weather in the Eastern Corn Belt and further west into the Corn Belt this spring. On one hand, that might be good news since total rainfall is still on the light side after a dry summer and fall. Soils were in need of recharge. However, spring isn't the ideal season for recharge, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it keeps soils soggy and could result in planting delays.
Part of Soulje's reasoning revolves around the La Nina cycle. It's the cool phase of the La Nina/El Nino cycle. It's all about small shifts in vast amounts of Ocean water in the tropical pacific. The shift in temperature affects atmospheric pressure, and atmospheric circulation aloft. As a net result, weather patterns are affected all over the globe. It's what gave the Eastern Corn Belt the snowy, but below normal precipitation, this past winter. As far as climatologists are concerned, winter is over. They count Dec. 1 to March 1 as winter when tabulating data.
Soulje expects La Nina to break up this spring. That means the cycle will return to the natural phase. However, he still believes that there could be warmer, drier weather behind the active spring pattern, at least in the Midwest. What he will watch is how the expected big bout of warm, dry weather in the southern U.S. behaves as spring and summer unfold. Some believe that the heat could redevelop along with a drier pattern later in the season.
If you don't like what you read, don't shoot the messenger. Instead, plan on taking a closer look in the next issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer. Look for graphs that indicate how this weather pattern might unfold in the upcoming months.