Tag Archive: Weather

December Weather Summary and January Outlook

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall across the Panhandle in December 2016.

December brought quite a change from the previous months of drought.  The National Weather Service estimates for rainfall ranged from isolated locations with over 15″ (purple), large regions with over 10″ (hot pink), to less than 4″ along the coast of Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla and Jefferson Counties (tan and yellow).

The six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also documented the range in rainfall in December, from a low of only 3.3″ in Carrabelle to over 12″ in Marianna and DeFuniak.  All six FAWN stations recorded above historic average for the month of December.  For the year, the wettest location was at the station in Defuniak, with 63.1″ in 2016.  The driest location was at Carrabelle with only 48.4″ for the year.  Certainly the rainfall was not uniform in 2016 with Monticello station recording 4.8″ above historic average, while the other five locations were below average for the year.  The Carrabelle location was unusually dry, 7.4″ below historic average for annual rainfall.

Annual averages don’t tell the whole story.  It is not just how much falls in total, but when it comes.  The chart above shows how three months:  March, August, and December made up for the shortfalls the rest of the year at the Marianna location.  For the record it was an average year of 54″ of rain, but July, October and November were serious drought months.

The high rainfall totals in December did ease the drought through the Panhandle, but not uniformly.  Calhoun, Gulf, Liberty, Bay and Leon, as well as portions of Escambia and Jefferson Counties are still listed in the Moderate Drought category.  This may change in the weeks ahead with all of the rain in early January.

Temperatures did continue to cool off from November to December. The average air temperature dropped 4° from 61° to 57° in December, and the average soil temperate dropped 8°, from 69 down to 61.

January Outlook

The Climate Predication Center’s (CPC) outlook for January calls for warmer and wetter than average.  It does seem as if La Niña has lost some of its grip, which should mean continued improvement of drought conditions, at least in the Panhandle.

The CPC is expecting the drought conditions to continue to improve in the Panhandle region, but not necessarily for the rest of Florida.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/december-weather-summary-and-january-outlook/

November Weather Summary and Winter Outlook

November Weather Summary and Winter Outlook

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall totals for November 2016.

National Weather Service estimates of rainfall totals for November 2016.

November was a very dry month across the Florida Panhandle.  For a good portion of the region the limited rain that fell came on November 30, the very last day of the month from a single cold front.  For the month, the vast majority of the region received less than 1″ (blue and bright green).  Small pockets had higher totals (dark green), but were still below 2″ in November.

nov-2016-fawn-panhandle-rainfallThe University of Florida’s Florida Automated Weather network (FAWN) has six stations across the Panhandle.  it is clear that the November 30 cold front brought more rain to the western portion of the Panhandle and diminished as it moved east.  The six stations collected an average of 0.6″ for the month of November, with 1.0″ at DeFuniak which was the wettest location, but only 0.2″ at Carrabelle.   For the year thus far, January through November, the station in Monticello has recorded 56.4″ of rain,  which is actually 2″ above historic average for this location.  Much of this extra rain came from Hurricane Hermine.  Only 41.9″ of rain has been collected in Marianna, which is 8″ below historic average for this location.  The average across all six stations was 49.3″, which is more than 5″ below historic average through November.

16-marianna-fawn-rainfall-vs-avgLooking at the monthly rainfall totals compared to historic average is also important.  The chart above shows that, at the Marianna FAWN Station, 15″ of the 42″ total rainfall in 2016 fell in March and August.  The rest of the year was average or well below average for this location. This chart shows why annual rainfall totals don’t always tell the whole story.  While adequate soil moisture was available at planting, crops suffered through the heat of summer with reduced rainfall.  So there were 8″ fewer inches of rain for the year that ended in serious drought.  The record low October rainfall at the Marianna station was 0″ in 1961, and the record low for November was 0.21″ in 1959.  However, the two month total of only 1.02″, in October and November 2016, was the driest October-November on record in the 64 year history of data collected at this location.

11-29-16-drought-monitorThe U.S. Drought Monitor highlights how serious the current drought is across the Southeast.  More of Florida has been categorized as under drought conditions, with severe and extreme drought conditions across much of the Florida Panhandle.  It will take much more rainfall than what little fell with the recent front to improve this status.  The current La Niña has clearly influenced rainfall for the Southeast thus fall.jan-nov-16-marianna-fawn-summaryTemperatures have cooled considerably as compared to October.  The average air temperature dropped from 70° in October to 61° in November, and the average soil temperature dropped 10° from 79° to 69°. While not extreme, there were three nights that dipped below freezing, with a low of 29° on November 21st.  When compared to the high of 86° back on November 3rd, that is a large temperature spread for a single month.

cpc-dec-feb-17-three-month-outlookThe Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) outlook for the next three months is not very encouraging.  Warmer than average temperatures is not such a bad thing, but well below average rainfall is not good at all.

11-17-16-seasonal-drought-outlookAs you can see  the CPC’s Seasonal Drought Outlook through the end of February is not encouraging either.  The one month outlook for December did show some slight improvement, but it does not look like we will see normal rainfall again until Spring.  From both of these graphic forecasts it does not appear that this will be a good year for winter grazing or grain crops.  Certainly fields with better moisture holding capacity would be the best choices, if you do decide to gamble on planting cool season forages or crops.  Sandy, well drained fields could be even more risky.  Who knows what the future will hold, but the best scientific guess does not look favorable at this point.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/03/november-weather-summary-and-winter-outlook/

October Weather Summary and Three Month Outlook

October Weather Summary and Three Month Outlook

Source: National Weather Service estimates for rainfall in the Florida Panhandle.

Source: National Weather Service estimates for rainfall in the Florida Panhandle.

October Summary

October is historically one of the driest months of the year in the Florida Panhandle.  Much of the western portion of the Panhandle, however, was “O-for-October,” with little to no rainfall this year.  Northern Jefferson County did receive more than 3″ of rain (tan) in October, but the majority of the region had less than 0.25″ (light blue) for the month.

oct-2016-fawn-panhandle-rainfallThe University of Florida’s Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations recorded limited rainfall in the month of October as well.  The highest total rainfall in October was recorded at the Monticello Station with only 0.9″, while both the Jay and Carrabelle stations did not record any rainfall for the month at all.  The average for all six stations was only 0.3″, which is more than 3″ below average.  For the year the Monticello station had the highest total with 56.1″ through the first 10 months of 2016, which is almost 5″ above historic average for this location.  The driest location remained Marianna with only 41.1″ for the year, which was 5.6″ below average for that location.  To date, only the Monticello and Quincy stations have recorded above historic average rainfall for the year.

Source: National Drought Monitor

Source: National Drought Monitor

Drought conditions in the Southeast grew even worse in October.  The drought that has been so severe in northern Alabama and Georgia has expanded into the Florida Panhandle.  It has been several years since the Panhandle has been in the moderate drought category of the Drought Monitor.

oct-16-marianna-fawn-summaryTemperatures did moderate some in October, but it was certainly warmer than normal as was forecasted.  Average air temperatures fell 7° from 77° in September to 70° in October, while soil temperatures dipped 5° from 86° down to 76°.  This was 2° warmer for the average air temperature and 5° warmer average soil temperature than last year.

La Niña Watch is Back On

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is once again forecasting a La Niña winter.  All summer there has been debate about a potential for a warmer and dryer winter based on the development of a La Niña this coming fall and winter.  In late summer the CPC called off the watch, but conditions in the Pacific Ocean have changed.  The following is their latest forecast:
ENSO-Neutral conditions were observed during September, with negative sea surface temperatures anomalies expanding across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean by early October. All of the Niño regions cooled considerably during late September and early October.  La Niña is favored to develop (~70% chance) during the Northern Hemisphere fall 2016 and slightly favored to persist (~55% chance) during winter 2016-17.  Climate Prediction Center

Looking Ahead – 3 Month Forecast

climate-prediction-center-nov-16-jan-17-outlookThe outlook for the next three months is not very encouraging for cool-season forage or crop production. The CPC is predicting warmer than average temperatures and well below average rainfall from November though January.  Clearly the forecast images above and the drought forecast below are showing the impact of the anticipated La Niña.

nov-january-17-drought-outlookNot only is the current situation serious but is forecasted to continue into the winter months.  It does not look encouraging for winter grazing, or whea or oat grain production this year.  Livestock producers counting on winter grazing for supplementation may be required to invest in additional purchased hay and by-product feeds, if pastures are already planted.  Producers who have been waiting on rain to plant, may want to return seed and exchange them for supplements.  All indications are that the months ahead will remain drier than normal. Hopefully things will improve in 2017.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/11/05/october-weather-summary-and-three-month-outlook/

September Weather Summary and Fall Planting Forecast

national Weather Service rainfall estimates for September 2016.

National Weather Service rainfall estimates for September 2016.

September rainfall was greatly influenced by Hurricane Hermine.  The eastern Panhandle Counties had significantly more rainfall in the month of September. September totals ranged from over 10″ (pink) in portions of Franklin, Leon, and Jefferson County to a low of less than 4″ (tan, yellow, and green) for large portions of Jackson, Holmes, Walton and Okaloosa.

16-jan-sept-panhandle-fawn-summaryThe Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also showed the wide variation for the month of September.  The highest rainfall totals came from the Monticello Station that received 9.3″, and Carrabelle with 7″ with the added rain from the Hurricane.  The driest locations were DeFuniak with only 2″, and Mariana 4.2″, and Quincy with 4.7″.  For the year, Monticello has taken over the lead with a total of 55.2″ through nine months, while Marianna is lagging behind with only 40.9″ for the year thus far.  For the year, only the Marianna, DeFuniak, and Carrabelle stations were below historic average, while Monticello has recorded 7.5″ above historic average for this location.

marianna-fawn-summary-jan-sept-16-revTemperatures did cool off slightly in September.  The average air temperature dropped three degrees to 77° as compared to August, but the average soil temperature only dropped one degree from 87° in August to 86° in September.

La Niña Watch Canceled

Several months ago the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) was predicting a 55-60% chance of a La Niña this fall and winter.  La  Niña winters are typical drier and warmer than average in the Florida Panhandle.  Recently the CPC has changed their forecast and are now predicting a Neutral winter.  While a Nuetral ENSO phase typically has more normal temperate and precipitation in this region over the winter, these are also historically the winters with the more severe freezes.

The CPC ENSO Alert System Status: Not Active. ENSO-neutral conditions are present. Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) are near or below average in the east-central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
ENSO-neutral conditions are slightly favored (between 55-60%) during the upcoming Northern Hemisphere fall and winter 2016-17. Climate Predication Center

Fall Planting Forecast

2016-17-cpc-cool-season-precip-outlookOctober and November are the primary months for planting winter annual pastures and small grains.  The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) released their long range precipitation forecast for the fall and winter months in mid-September.  Even though the La Niña watch has been canceled, they are still forecasting a drier than normal winter.  Livestock producers and small grain farmers should take their current forecast under consideration when deciding which fields should be planted with cool-season forage or grain crops.  This may indeed be a year when the lower, less-well drained fields are more productive.  It would also be advisable to plant only when adequate moisture is present in the soil, even if that means waiting a week or longer than normal, as many areas in the Panhandle are already dry.  Crops like rye that are more drought tolerant may perform better than ryegrass that is highly moisture dependent for optimal performance.  For cools season pastures, blends of forages would be preferred to reduce the risk of below average moisture.  These long range forecasts are updated each month.  The long range forecast is always less accurate, so it is advisable to pay more attention to the shorter range forecasts.  This CPC outlook site offers a variety of graphic short and longer ranged forecasts:  http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/index.php

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/08/september-weather-summary-and-fall-planting-forecast/

Tropical Weather will Increase Disease Pressure on Late Planted Crops

Figure 1. Video of weather forecast for Friday September 2 showing movement through the Southeast of Hurricane Hermine. There is a brief advertisement at the beginning of the video.

Ian Small, Nicholas Dufault, Kelly O’Brien, and David Wright

Late season storms like hurricane Hermine (Fig. 1) and tropical depression Julia (and 12) often bring significant wind and rainfall to our region (Fig. 2). It is important to keep in mind the impacts this weather can have on your crops. While many row crops are already mature and in the process of being harvested, there might be some late planted crops, such as double crop soybeans and June-planted peanuts, that are susceptible to disease. So, what impact does the weather associated with Hermine and other tropical systems have on row crop growers? It means that the environment has become more conducive for disease, but more specifically, that:

  • A combination of high moisture and wind speeds creates an environment optimal for fungal (e.g. soybean rust, Cercospora leaf blight, and frog eye leaf spot), oomycete (e.g. downy mildew), and bacterial pathogens (e.g. bacterial blight) to grow, infect, and spread.
  • Weather systems like Hermine spread pathogens over short and long distances very effectively. Rain splash as well as wind-blown rainfall are efficient means for local dispersal of spores and bacteria in a field, but these factors are also critical to the release of spores into the atmosphere for long distance movement to fields miles away.
  • Too much rain creates problems for growers by limiting access to fields for fungicide sprays and other management practices.
Figure 2. Precipitation (inches) recorded for two weeks after hurricane Hermine.

Figure 2. Precipitation (inches) recorded for two weeks after hurricane Hermine.

The role that hurricanes can play in spreading pathogens has been demonstrated by soybean rust, which was introduced into the continental US by hurricane Ivan in 2004. Since 2005, a network of soybean sentinel plots has been used to monitor the spread of soybean rust (www.sbrusa.net). In 2016, leading up to hurricane Hermine, several sentinel plots across Florida (14 out of 21 scouted counties by May 31) were found to be positive for soybean rust early in the season.  By the end of August, 25 out of 27 scouted counties were positive,  well ahead of previous years.

Figure 3. Status of positive soybean rust reports (red color) on May 31 and August 31.

Figure 3. Status of positive soybean rust reports (red color) on May 31 and August 31.

The large number of positive counties with soybean rust was likely due to the mild winter conditions that enabled the pathogen to overwinter more easily. The combination of above average (positive) soybean rust reports in Florida, and weather from Hurricane Hermine suggests that it is highly likely that the moisture and wind conditions were favorable for the spread of soybean rust spores along the path of Hermine (Fig. 4). With approaching cool autumn temperatures, the rust will spread even more, but by then, it will no longer be a threat to soybean production.

Figure 4. Force wind swaths caused by hurricane Hermine.

Figure 4. Force wind swaths caused by hurricane Hermine.

A question many of you are probably asking is, what can one do about the issues hurricanes and tropical weather systems cause? There is no simple answer to this question, but the first thing would be to assess your risk for disease. Your risk will depend on a number of factors including your crop growth stage, choice of cultivar, presence of pathogens on your farm (or in your region) and fungicide management program. Understanding your risk is an important step to deciding how to respond to environmental events like hurricane Hermine. It is important to scout your fields for disease at repeated intervals, because disease symptoms are only likely to show up 7 to 14 days after a weather event such as Hermine. The book A Farmer’s Guide to Soybean Diseases from the American Phytopathological Society provides some good information on how to identify and manage many soybean diseases.

Ultimately, each situation will be unique and nothing makes up for experience when dealing with diseases. Contact your local Extension Agents and consultants to find out what diseases are present in your region, as well as the management options that are available.

Links to online publications with more information on this topic:

Soybean Production in Florida

NC State IPM Soybean Disease Management

Fungicide Efficacy for Control of Foliar Soybean Diseases

 

PG

Author: Nick Dufault – nsdufault@ufl.edu

Extension Plant Pathologist for Vegetable and Row Crops
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Field-Veg-Plant-Pathology-Lab-at-UF/510711278961763?sk=timeline

Nick Dufault

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/17/tropical-weather-will-increase-disease-pressure-on-late-planted-crops/

August Weather Summary, Hurricane Hermine, & September Outlook

Rainfall estimates for August 2016 from the National Weather Service.

Rainfall estimates for August 2016 from the National Weather Service.

For much of the Panhandle August was an improvement over July with more adequate rainfall scattered across the region.  Portions of the coastal counties received over 10″ (hot pink), while there were a number of inland pockets that received less than 4″ (tan).  Most of the region’s rainfall ranged from 5-8″ for the month, based on National Weather Service estimates.

Rainfrall data collected at 6 FAWN stations across the Panhandle. The data collected at the six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also show the variation in rainfall in the Panhandle for the month of August.  After three straight months of below average rainfall, the Carrabelle station recorded 11.3″ of rain in August 2016.  In contrast, less than 4″ of rainfall was recorded in Monticello and Jay. The six station average was 6.7″ for the month of August.   For the year, Marianna has been the driest location with less than 37″, while the DeFuniak station has recorded a total of almost 48″.  The six station average through 8 months was 42.8″.

16 Aug Marianna FAWN SummaryTemperatures cooled only slightly in August as compared to July.  The average air temperature cooled only one degree from 81 to 80, and the average soil temperature fell two degrees from 89 to 87.  For specific daily temperature and rainfall data, download:  2016 Jan-Aug FAWN Weather Summary

8-30-16 SE Drought MonitorHurricane Hermine

Hurricane Hermine certainly got everyone’s attention in the Panhandle and South Georgia this week as it grew stronger moving through the Gulf.  Damage reports are still coming in from the coastal communities hit hardest by storm surge, power outages, and high winds.  There is a silver lining to this storm, however.  The graphic above is the Drought Monitor for the Southeast on Tuesday, August 30 before the storm came ashore.  As you can see much of Georgia and South Carolina were in real need of rainfall.

NWS estaimates of rainfall totals for the past 48 hours at 2:00 PM Eastern time 9/2/16

NWS estimates of rainfall totals for the past 48 hours at 2:00 PM Eastern time 9/2/16

The graphic above is the estimated rainfall totals from the past 48 hours.  Interestingly the rainfall total was higher in Tampa and Cedar Key than in Jefferson and Taylor Counties, where the eye of the storm made landfall.  The other thing that is truly remarkable was the High-Pressure wall that guided this huge spinning top of a storm.  You can clearly see how the storm was pushed eastward on a pretty distinct line.

September Outlook

Climate Prediction Center Sept 16 OutlookThe month ahead was expected to be hotter and dryer than normal.  The climate Prediction Center actually changed their outlook this week to show Hurricane Hermine’s influence, so the eastern Panhandle is expected to end the month above average.  As peanut and cotton harvest is not far off, it does appear as if farmers will have better weather conditions than last year at harvest.  But that will depend greatly on whether tropical systems emerge in the Gulf from now through November.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/09/03/august-weather-summary-hurricane-hermine-september-outlook/

July Weather Summary and Harvest Weather Outlook

July Weather Summary and Harvest Weather Outlook

National Weather Service estimates for July 2016 rainfall.

National Weather Service estimates for July 2016 rainfall.

Typically, July in the Florida Panhandle is the wettest month of the year with 6-7″ of rainfall.  In the graphic above, areas that are hot pink or dark red did receive over 6″ in July, but this was not the case for many central and eastern counties.  The regions highlighted in tan and yellow had less than 4″ of rainfall in July.

16 Jan-July Panhandle FAWN Summary revisedThe Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations in the Panhandle showed the variation across the Panhandle as well. Only the Jay station was above historic average for the month of July.  For the first seven months of 2016, only the Monitcello, Quincy, and Jay stations were above averages for those locations.  Thanks to field data collected in March and April, we have some data for the Quincy station to replace the data lost with the bad gauge.  The Marianna station has recorded only 29″ through July, nearly 5″ below average for the year.  Carrabelle has recorded the lowest rainfall totals for the year, with less than 27″ of rain, more than 4″ below historic average for that location.

16 July Marianna FAWN SummaryTemperatures were slightly hotter than in June.  The average air temperature climbed to 81° and the average soil temperature to 89°.  There were five days that the 6′ air temperature was above 95°, and the soil temperature rose above 100° in early July.  To view daily temperature and rainfall totals from the Marianna FAWN station, download:  2016 Jan-July Weather Summary.

3 Month Outlook

CPC 16 Aug-Oct OutlookThe three month outlook provided by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for above average temperatures over the next three months across the Southeast.  The CPC is forecasting below average rainfall for much of the Southeast, but left the Florida Panhandle out of that zone prediction.  It does appear that Panhandle farmers can expect the heat to continue for several more months.

La Niña Watch

Last month the Climate Prediction Center provided the following report on July 14th:

ENSO-neutral conditions were observed during the past month.  Many models favor La Niña by the end of the Northern Hemisphere summer, continuing during fall and lasting into winter.  Statistical models predict a later onset time (i.e., mid-fall) than dynamical models, and also predict a relatively weaker event. The forecaster consensus is somewhat of a compromise between the two model types, favoring La Niña onset during the August-October season, and predicting a weak event, if an event were to form. Overall, ENSO-neutral conditions currently prevail and La Niña is favored to develop by August – October 2016, with about a 55-60% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17.  Climate Prediction Center

What does a La Niña mean for agriculture in the Panhandle?  Typically ENSO phases have the greatest impact from November through March, but can have affects earlier and later in the year.  In a La Niña phase, Panhandle weather is warmer and dryer than normal.  The AgroClimate website has a full discussion of typical ENSO phase impacts on different types of crops, but in general, small grains, winter cover crops, and winter forage yields are lower, but summer crops can benefit from reduced pests and diseases. The CPC is predicting a 55-60% chance of a weak La Niña for the 2016-17 cool season, so growers should keep an eye on this forecast as we move closer to the time for cools season crop and pasture planting decisions.

The following are examples of average yield data for wheat and peanuts during the three ENSO phases:

Source: AgroClimate

Source: AgroClimate

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/05/july-weather-summary-and-harvest-weather-outlook/

June Panhandle Weather Summary

June Panhandle Weather Summary

NWS June 16 rainfall estimatesJune 2016 was fairly typical for the Florida Panhandle with much warmer temperatures and scattered afternoon thunderstorms with highly variable rainfall.  In the graphic above you can see the hot pink areas that received more than 10″ and dark red regions that received more than 8″ in June.  In contrast the beige areas received less than 5″ and the tan less than 4″ of rain in June.

16 Jan-Jun Panhandle RainfallThe six Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also showed the variation in rainfall across the Panhandle in June 2016.  Monticello had a surprisingly wet month with over 9″ collected, while only 3.5″ fell near Marianna, less than 100 miles to the west.  Because of the extra rainfall in April and June, Monticello received 37.7″ which was 9″ above the historical average for that location.  Through the first half of 2016,  Marianna had the lowest total through June with only 26.6″ which was 1.5″ below the historic average for that location.  The other four stations were above average through the first six months of 2016.

16 Jan-Jun Marianna FAWN ChartTemperatures certainly warmed up significantly in June with a 7° increase in the average air temperature as compared to May, and a 5° increase in average soil temperature.  There were 3 days in June with high temperatures over 95°, with a high of 97° on June 25, 2016. For daily totals download the 2016 Marianna Jan-Jun Weather Summary.

3 Month Outlook

16 July through September OutlookThe Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) forecast for the next three months, July through September, calls for above average temperatures and above average rainfall.  Hopefully there will be adequate rainfall to compensate for the higher temperatures.  With most of the Panhandle above average so far, it should turn out to be a pretty decent crop year.  To this point Florida has stayed out of the US Drought Monitor, hopefully that trend will continue.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/16/june-panhandle-weather-summary/

May and T.S. Colin Weather Summary and Summer Outlook

National Weather Service estimates for rainfall across the Florida Panhandle in May 2016.

National Weather Service estimates for rainfall across the Florida Panhandle in May 2016.

May Rainfall

May was a more typical rainfall month for the Panhandle with El Niño disappearing.  In the graphic above you can see that only small portions of northern Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties received more than 8″ for the month, while the areas in green less than 2″.  Most of the region ranged from 2-5″ in May 2016.

16 May Panhandle FAWN Rainfall 2The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations recorded rainfall in May that ranged from a low of 1.7″ at the Marianna station to a high of 3.7″ in Monticello.  Only the Monticello station recorded rainfall totals above historic averages for these six locations.  All six stations average 2.5″ for May 2016.

Through the first five months of 2016, the five stations averaged 25.3″ (Quincy had a gauge error in parts of March and April).  Monticello had the highest rainfall total so far in 2016 with a total of 28.6″, and the lowest total of 20.3″ was recorded at the Carrabelle station.  All 5 stations averaged 25.3″ from January through May.  Only the Marianna site was slightly below average for the year, with the Monticello almost 6″ above the historic average for this location.

May Temperatures

16 May Marianna FAWN Summary

Temperatures climbed up significantly in May, with an average air temperature of 73 and an average soil temperature of 82.  The data gathered at the Marianna station shows the wide variation of temperatures, however, ranging from a low of 48° to a high of 94° in May.

Tropical Storm Colin

Rainfall that came the first week of June associated with Tropical Storm Colin.

Rainfall that came the first week of June associated with Tropical Storm Colin.

In most of the Panhandle, Tropical Storm Colin brought much needed rain for the region.  While not included in the weekly drought monitor, most of the Panhandle was starting to really dry out. The areas around Tallahassee, Gainesville, Palatka, and Tampa received more than 7″ with this storm, but most of North Florida had 2-5″ over the past week.

FAWN 7-day rainfall data the first week of June with Tropical Storm Colin.

FAWN 7-day rainfall data the first week of June with Tropical Storm Colin.

The FAWN stations show how some areas of Florida had much higher rainfall totals associated with this storm than most of the Panhandle.  The Bronson FAWN station recorded 9.9″, Putnam Hall 9.1″, Monticello 8.1″, and Dover 7″ over the past seven days.

Summer Outlook

Climate Prediction Center's outlook for June through August weather.

Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for June through August weather.

The climate prediction center is expecting temperatures to climb up over the next three months, but makes no projection for rainfall in the Southeast.

El Niño to La Niña

The 2015-16 El Niño is officially over.  There is still a good chance of a weak to moderate La Niña developing this summer or fall, but as of right now the official stage is neutral.  La Niña may bring good news for crop harvest this year, but may not be as favorable for winter crop and forage production.

El Niño dissipated and ENSO-neutral conditions returned in May.   ENSO-neutral conditions are present and La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17.  Climate Prediction Center

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/11/may-and-t-s-colin-weather-summary-and-summer-outlook/

April 2016 Weather Summary and 3 Month Outlook

April 2016 Weather Summary and 3 Month Outlook

Natiaonal Weather Service estimates for April 2016 rainfall across the Florida Panhandle.

National Weather Service estimates for April 2016 rainfall across the Florida Panhandle.

April was a wetter than average month in most locations across the Panhandle, but nothing like the April rains of 2014 and 15.  There were a few pockets in hot pink that had over 10″ of rainfall for the month while portions of Gulf and Franklin received less than 4″ along the Gulf Coast. The majority of the Panhandle ranged from 4-8″ for the month.

16 Jan-Apr Panhandle FAWN RainfallThe five Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) stations also showed some variation for the month of April.  The Quincy Station gauge had an error for the months of March and April, so a total for this site cannot be provided.  The average of the other five FAWN stations was 5.9″.  While all five locations were above historic averages, the month was much more normal that the previous two years with 8.1″ in April 2015, and 13.5″ in 2014.  Through the first four months of 2016 there were three sites that totaled over 25″ – Monticello, DeFuniak, and Jay.  In comparison, the Carrabelle station has only recorded 18″ in 2016.  The difference this year is the moisture that came at the end of 2015.  The actual rainfall that fell in 2016 was not that far above normal, but it fell on already moist to saturated soils that are now beginning to dry out again with typical May warm temperatures and high pressure systems limiting rainfall.

16 Jan-Apr Marianna FAWN SummaryTemperatures did warm up considerably in April.  The average air temperature climbed up another four degrees for the month.  Unfortunately the soil sensor at Marianna went bad, so there is not an accurate measure of the increase there, but for sure it was warmer than the previous three months.

May – July Outlook

May-July 16 OutlookThe outlook for the next three months, May-July, from the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above average temperatures and rainfall.  With much of the region in the middle of peanut and cotton planting, this forecast is good news.  If the rainfall continues on a regular basis, these crops should get off to a nice start for the season.  Hopefully it won’t heat up too much, and dry out the moisture that has built up all winter.

El Niño Update

Not much has changed with the El Niño forecast.  True to expectations sea surface temperatures continued a slow cooling toward normal in April, but are still warm enough to drive the above outlook with above average rainfall as we finish out the Spring.

During mid-April 2016 the positive tropical Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly was weakening, now indicating only a moderate strength El Niño. All atmospheric variables continue to support the El Niño pattern, but at reduced strength. This includes weakened trade winds and excess rainfall in the east-central tropical Pacific, extending eastward to a lesser extent than last month. Most ENSO prediction models indicate continued weakening El Niño conditions during the rest of the northern spring season, returning to neutral by late spring or early summer 2016, with La Niña development likely by fall. – International Research Institute for Climate and Society

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/05/14/april-2016-weather-summary-and-3-month-outlook/

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