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Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Horrible travel weather will be experienced across the Midwest today throughout tonight and even tomorrow in many areas. Already, there has been quite a lot of snow west of the Mississippi River and the winds are starting to blow at 20-30 mph with gust to over 40 at times. This will result in tremendous blowing and drifting over the roads with blinding visibility ant times. These sort of conditions will be spreading to the eastern Cornbelt today into tomorrow. A bitterly cold arctic air mass will be diving straight south and southeast and this will result in temperatures dropping to 15-20 degrees later in the week from Houston to New Orleans. In fact, this is a very dangerous situation for the Florida Orange juice area for this Sunday and Monday mornings. Record or near record lows will be established after breaking some records in that area yesterday morning. Lows, especially on Monday morning could reach the upper teens well to the south of Orlando. In Orlando itself, lows will probably dip to about 23 since the reporting station is downwind from the huge city. There is good news for the future, however with the overall weather pattern. There is mounting evidence that the pattern will be turning warmer especially in the Midwest and northern Plains as El Nino is perhaps “trying to show its might”. The Eastern and southeastern U.S. will be slower to warm up but even here it will be gradually getting milder after the middle of next week. Turning our attention to other parts of the world, the weather in South America continues to be perfect for the crops. There is plenty of rain and close to normal temperatures. This perfect pattern will continue indefinitely. The perfect weather is the reason that the soybean production estimates have been raised yesterday. The overnight soybean market is reflecting this news as it was trading sharply lower. There is no doubt that the most important factor in the soybean market over the next month or two will continue to be the South American Weather.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Blizzard like conditions will be experienced across the Midwest later today through Thur. There will be a swath of 3-6 inch snows across most of the Cornbelt. Some spots may pick up as much as 8 inches of the white stuff. Travel will become very difficult once the winds pick up from the north and nortwest at 20-30 MPH with higher gusts on Wed. night & Thur. The strong winds will first commence in the west ton. and gradually reach the east during Thur. Visibility out in the open country will be near zero at times with the combination of the fluffy snow and strong winds. The air mass behind this system will be frigid to say the least. In fact, during Thur. temps will be falling all day, especially west of the Mississippi River with wicked wind chills. For example, Des Moines will fall from the single digits above zero early Thur. to well below zero by late Thur. This air mass is so cold and the associated Arctic high pressure system is so strong that it likely will result in a damaging freeze for the Orange Juice area of Florida for this Sunday and Monday mornings. As extreme as the weather is here in the U.S. Midwest, it is very benign in the South American corn and soybean growing areas. The concerns about drought in Argentina more than a month ago, quickly faded with each heavy rain event over the past month. The outlook is for pretty much a perfect weather pattern continuing here for the forseeable future. In Brazil, the rains have been very heavy in places for several months now. There is no end in sight to the normal or above normal rains and near normal temperatures. The current moderate to strong El Nino is obviously in full force in South America as both Argentina and Brazil typically have bumper crops during El Nino episodes. However, it has not at all been an El Nino type winter in North America so far. With moderate to strong El Ninos, the winters are usually warmer than normal across the northern U.S. while the South has a wet pattern with near normal temps.
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Strength in the corn and soybean markets as of late continues to take place without any help from concerning weather in South American growing areas. The month of December was a very wet month in Argentina (certainly a far cry from a year ago, when record-setting drought was seen), with the heart of their growing area in northern Buenos Aires, southeastern Cordoba, and central/southern Santa Fe gauging more than twice the rainfall that is normally recorded in that month. One had to go to far northern Cordoba and far southern Buenos Aires to find any locations that did not see at least normal rainfall in December. Temperatures for December averaged very close to normal levels as well. In Brazil, December was a bit on the dry side in Bahia (between 75 and 100 percent of normal rainfall there) and in parts of Parana (also seeing 75-100 percent of normal rainfall); otherwise, rainfall was at least normal and for especially eastern Mato Grosso, western Goias, much of Mato Grosso do Sul, southern Minas Gerais, and much of Rio Grande do Sul it was above normal. Temperatures for December in Brazilian growing areas ran slightly on the warm side of normal. This weather capped off what was a very good planting season for South American farmers, with the only trouble noted was conditions that were too wet at times in Rio Grande do Sul that slowed planting operations. Right now is a particularly key time for the South American corn crop, with much of the crop in the silking stage right now and before long we will reach the fill stage. Based on December weather, the weather seen so far this month, and the weather that we see coming up, it looks like Brazilian and Argentine corn yields should be quite big this year. The recent holiday weekend featured extensive rain throughout the bulk of the Argentine growing region; five different locations recorded one to four inch rains during the first four days of the year. All of the Brazilian growing area was forecast to see extensive rain at one time or another through January 10. Argentina should have another threat of rain for around January 11-12. Temperatures over the next week or longer do not look to pose a problem either. There is still a lot of weather to get through before the corn and especially soybean crops are in the bin, but at this point there is no reason not to be optimistic about South American production prospects.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Though radar showed some light showers early on this Monday over southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and central Nebraska, the weather for this week all across the Nation’s midsection still looks to be far different than what we had in October…which means that it is going to be a whole lot drier. Weather systems will still have to be dealt with; in addition to the one ongoing this morning, another will arrive tomorrow in the western Corn Belt and move into eastern areas by Wednesday morning. These are going to be weak events though, with rains from today’s system being largely no more than a few hundredths of an inch and rains with the next system probably “maxing out” at around a quarter of an inch. Similar weather conditions are forecast for Thursday through the weekend: most places getting no rain, with the areas that do get rain largely being in the northeastern Corn Belt and even there the amounts should be very light. For the Plains for Kansas southward, for the southern Corn Belt, and for the Delta, I would expect that the period from now through the end of next weekend is completely rain-free. We are eventually going to see a lot warmer temperatures as well. The next four days will average out to be on the cool side of normal for the eastern Corn Belt and Delta, but normal to a bit warmer than normal over the Plains and far western Corn Belt. The Plains and western Corn Belt should really warm on Thursday though, and that warm is headed east for the weekend and into the first part of next week. The Northern Plains and northwestern Corn Belt in particular could be exceptionally warm for Thursday through about November 10. Details are lacking in how the rainfall forecast for next week plays out, but it does look like rainfall chances will be on the increase again for at least some areas starting about next Monday. Again, how big that system is, who might get the biggest amounts, and how long it might last are things that are still to be determined. For this afternoon’s harvest progress report, I would put the national soybean harvest at 48% done, and put the national corn harvest at 24% done. We should see both of those figures, but especially soybeans, be a good deal higher for next Monday’s report.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Rain was starting to work its way east of the Mississippi River early on this Thursday, with extensive rain still falling further west across large parts of Nebraska (actually falling as snow in western parts of the state), Iowa, Missouri, eastern Kansas, Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. In the Corn Belt, heaviest rains so far have been over southeastern Minnesota through parts of Wisconsin; I can confirm about 1.5 inches at Rochester. Biggest rains anywhere in the Nation since yesterday morning have clearly been over eastern parts of Texas, where there was a strip of very heavy rains from west of San Antonio northward to just west of Dallas; radar is estimating three to five inches there and numerous counties were under flash flood warnings. It will be the Mississippi River Valley that gets the heaviest of the rains over the next 24 hours, with additional rains of one to two inches expected for southeastern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, eastern Missouri, western Indiana, and all of the Delta (with the central and southern Delta being an area to expect locally even heavier totals; flash flood watches have been posted). Most of the precipitation will be in eastern and northeastern parts of the Corn Belt for tomorrow. Light precipitation looks to move back into the western Corn Belt for Saturday night, with that system moving eastward through late on Monday. A stronger system is still forecast for the middle of next week, and the change on that system today is that it will be arriving earlier; look for most of the precipitation to fall on October 27-28 (instead of October 28-29). Behind that system will come a very cold air mass that will drop temperatures to well-below normal levels for the last days of this month and into the first day or two of November. Harvesting will still take place today in the eastern Corn Belt, but other than that it looks the like the harvest is now shut down for all intents and purposes for the rest of this month. We will need good weather in November like never before to get these crops harvested. Early indications would point to additional weather systems in the first week of November; track and strength of those systems is yet to be determined.