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Ag Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: February 26, 2019

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A couple surges of pacific moisture will bring more snow to the Columbia Basin tonight and early Wednesday and again Wednesday night into Thursday. The heaviest snow will likely be east of Moses Lake, Prosser, and Heppner where most farms should get 3 to 5 inches. The jet stream pattern over the past several days has been blocked with a high pressure ridge over Alaska and northerly flow bringing Canadian air into the Pacific Northwest. This will likely continue into next week, so the below normal temperatures that have dominated February will persist into early March. But as far as precipitation is concerned, it looks like a drier pattern will return beginning Friday and could continue through the first full week of March. Beginning the second week of March, the pattern looks to become more variable with temperatures moderating, but still averaging a little below normal. It will likely take at least a couple weeks though for the snow to melt and the soils to dry and be firm enough for equipment and field preparation ahead of spring planting. Based upon preliminary data, these are the reporting stations that have already set records for the snowiest February: Pendleton, Walla Walla, Sunnyside, Whitman Mission and Yakima. Of course, the next two snowfalls this week will add to the monthly record and may push some more locations into the record book. A few farms are also flirting with the coldest February on record.

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