Rain has Dominated Snow this Winter Created Saturated Soils Across Indiana – Vegetable Crops Hotline

Rain has Dominated Snow this Winter Created Saturated Soils Across Indiana

The 2019/2020 winter has not been very white so far, and as we move further into February, it is not looking like any snowfall records will be broken. Starting October 1, 2019, most of the state is 50-75 percent of normal through February 18, 2020. This translates to as much as 10 inches of snow behind average! The 1981-2010 normal snowfall amount for the rest of this season (i.e., February 18th through April 16th) ranges from 2 inches in southern Indiana up to 10 inches in northern Indiana. Unless some major snow events occur over the next several weeks, this winter season will be one of the least snowy.

That does not mean Indiana is in a drought, however! The precipitation has been falling – just not the frozen kind. Since October 1, 2019, Indiana has received above normal liquid precipitation ranging from a few inches above normal in the norther part of the state to over 6 inches above normal in the southern half! This has caused saturated soils in many places that are having a hard time drying out with the low temperature and cloudy days.

Will these conditions continue into spring? The climate outlooks are not looking like conditions will turn around anytime soon. While this spring may not be as wet as last year, outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center are predicting relative confidence of wetter than normal conditions for March-May. Hopefully, these spring rains will be accompanied by warmer temperatures and clear skies so that the moisture does not keep the soils saturated too much longer.

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