Colder regime takes over in the second half of October

After summer-like temperatures early last week, temperatures have turned decidedly colder.

After a brief flirtation with summer-like weather early last week, temperatures are bringing us back to reality as colder weather returns and some locations may see their first snowflakes of the season. Widespread frosts and freezes are expected and although we’re already past the growing season in most areas, the cold could be extreme enough for some livestock concerns.

For the week of October 16 to 22, temperatures for the Corn Belt will trend the seventh coldest in 29-plus years. Dry weather early in the period combined with gusty winds yields a threat for rapid fire spread, but relief arrives late in the third weekend of October (October 18) as a cold front advances across the Corn Belt. Precipitation amounts will be nothing to write home about, however, the cold front will usher in a reinforcing shot of cold air as we head into the third full week of October. Some locations across the northern Plains, Upper Midwest, and northern Great Lakes may be cold enough to see snow showers.

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Weathertrends360 anticipates that colder-than-normal temperatures will continue through the end of October, with the occasional day or two of warmer weather before the next cold front arrives to knock down temperatures. The precipitation forecast has turned a bit wetter for the late-October period with increased risks of snow showers primarily in far northern locations, although drought-stricken Iowa may just miss out on any substantial rainfall with wetter weather to the south and east of the state.

Despite the wetter end to October, this in no way signals an end to the drought conditions we’ve been dealing with across the Plains and portions of the Corn Belt. A strong to very strong La Niña, which will extend well into 2021, portends an expansion in drought conditions. This is bad news as currently we’re already seeing 47% of the nation in drought conditions, the most in seven years, and this trend is likely to worsen as we move through 2021; high risk for the 2021 growing season.

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Weathertrends360 offers a FarmCast subscription for your local forecasts looking out up to 365 days. It can be found for $399 a year at weathertrends360.com/Successful-Farming-Registration.

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