The Winter in Review with a Spring Outlook – Vegetable Crops Hotline

The Winter in Review with a Spring Outlook

Meteorological winter (December-February) is finally over and we can start looking forward to spring.  Across Indiana, winter brought above average precipitation (Figure 1), though below average snowfall.  The temperatures were slightly above normal (2°F-6°F; Figure 2) with no record-breaking cold periods.  Since there were so few colder-than-normal periods, the overwintering of pests and therefore increased pest populations will be a concern for this 2020 growing season.

Forecasts for the next several weeks are showing high confidence for above-normal precipitation and temperature.  This pattern is currently projected to continue throughout the March through May 3-month period, and there is strong consensus across the climate community that the rain will not be as impactful as it was in 2019. Computer models are providing guidance that around 2 inches more than average are likely in southern Indiana decreasing to only one-half inch more than average in the northern counties. The 1981-2010 climate normal for March-May ranges from 10 inches (north) to 15 inches (south) across the state. Therefore, these projected outlooks are predicting precipitation to range from 105-113 percent of mean. For comparison, the 2019 March-May period had precipitation that ranged 125-175 percent of mean.

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