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Ag Weather Impacts
by Dennis Hull, click here for bio

Program: Ag Weather Impact
Date: March 01, 2019

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As we turn the page to March, we’re finally getting a breather from the near daily onslaught of snow. Was it just me, or did it seem like for February here in the Columbia Basin we were living the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day? Anyway, a cold northerly flow will push the pacific moisture south to California and Nevada this weekend and early next week. It’s going to be really cold, though, for early March with temperatures through Tuesday averaging 15 to 20 degrees below normal. But on the bright side, not too much concern yet about rapid melting of this glacial snowpack. Also, the winds will be mainly under 10 mph, so blowing snow is not expected and wind chill will be minimal. And road crews should be able to clear farm roads for deliveries. As the flow becomes more westerly Tuesday night and Wednesday, temperatures should become a little warmer, but the return of Pacific moisture will produce the next chance for snow. Yesterday, NOAA’s Climate prediction center updated the outlook for March and is now calling for temperatures to average colder than normal across the Columbia Basin. Although this will likely continue to result in field work delays and spring planting, the gradual snow melt should pay dividends in deep soil moisture and a lower chance for flooding and soil erosion. For fruit growers, it will likely keep trees from blooming too quickly only to be subject to frost damage.

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