COLUMBIA, Mo. - Following a dry, mild winter in the Midwest, a University of Missouri meteorology expert is predicting a relatively wet and mild summer for Missouri and much of the Midwest. Tony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science at Mizzou, says normal temperatures and average rainfall this summer should help boost agriculture in the region after a dry winter.
"Historically, after dry winters such as the one we just experienced, we typically see a pattern change and experience average to wetter-than-average summers," Lupo said. "We already are seeing the beginning of this shift with the very wet spring we have experienced so far. With milder temperatures and a healthy amount of rain, farmers around Missouri and much of the Midwest can hope to have great growing conditions for much of the summer."
Lupo's forecast calls for slightly higher than normal corn and soybean yields throughout the state of Missouri, with the exception of southeast Missouri, which may see slightly below average yields. Lupo says the mild, average forecast for the summer can be attributed, at least in part, to the projected El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean.
"Early during the formation of El Niño patterns, the Midwest typically sees mild and wet summers, which is what we expect to experience this year," Lupo said. "While those conditions will probably change as El Niño advances, people in the Midwest should be able to enjoy the mild weather for this summer at least."
Lupo published a study on his 2017 summer forecast, "ENSO and PDO-related climate variability impacts on Midwestern United States crop yields," in the International Journal of Biometeorology. The lead author of the study was Chasity Henson, a doctoral student in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and was coauthored by Patrick Market, a professor at MU, and Patrick Guinan, an associate extension professor at MU.