When I start making a forecast for the summer months, drought is always one question I get from many in Mid-Missouri. Overall, drought conditions across Mid-Missouri are pretty low. For the time being and through the month of June, the drought will stay in check. With timely rains from thunderstorms, soil moisture levels should be alright. Drought could become a concern later this summer especially in July and August.
Drought monitor of Missouri from the Nation Climate Data Center (NCDC) as of 29 May 2014
Looking at agriculture impacts, Dr. Tony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science and a climate expert at the University of Missouri tells me that crops should ??fare well?? through the month of June.
In terms of flooding, that should not be too much of an issue that we have to worry about. The major rivers and the contributories are well below flood stage at this time. Flash flood could be a concern during some stronger storms with heavy rain?| but those only last a few hours because rivers return to their normal stages.
If drought sets in, we start to turn our eyes toward the tropics for some rain chances. Tropical storms are often the only ??drought buster?? we see during a warm summer. This year, with El Nino taking control, tropical activity will likely be lower. Lupo tells me the Atlantic Hurricane season should be "milder, which means less chance that the remnants of one of these will impact Missouri.??El Nino We look a lot at ocean temperatures, particularly in the tropical portions of the Pacific when making long range forecasts. We are still in a neutral phase, however we continue to make the slow and steady trek toward El Nino. Typically an El Nino summer in Missouri would favor a slightly cooler temperatures and slightly higher precipitation chances than on average. I don??t think that will necessarily be the case this summer because we are in the transition to El Nino and won??t be fully within the grips of it. The full impacts of El Nino will likely be felt in the upcoming fall and winter, rather than this summer. Looking ahead to what I will be watching for in July and August is how will El Nino start to impact our overall weather patterns and how does drought across other portions of the United States affect us in the Central Plains?| but I will leave all of that for my July forecast. How did we do with the May forecast: As a part of these monthly forecasts, I want to go back and look at how the previous month's forecast went. For the month of May I said we would be below average when it comes to rainfall and that happened. We officially picked up 3.05 inches of rain, which is 61% of the usual rainfall that we would get for the month of May. It is a bit surprising that our drought conditions aren??t a bit more severe in Mid-Missouri considering we were nearly 2 inches behind on rain for May. As for temperatures, the month of May had some big swings. The highest temperature we saw was 89 and the lowest we saw was 37. I said in my forecast that when the month was said and done we would see temperatures slightly below average and that didn??t end up happening, even though we started the month off on a very cold note. We saw a stretch of very warm weather with temperatures that were very close to breaking records, however, we never officially broke any temperatures records. We were about 2 above normal when looking at the overall average temperature. Overall, I think the first monthly forecast went well.