Crop & Pest Report


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Weather Forecast (05/13/21)

The May 13 to May 19, 2021 Weather Summary and Outlook

Southwestern North Dakota recorded a very welcomed rain this past weekend.  It was mixed with snow with several areas seeing an accumulation, but that quickly melted.  It was the highest amount of precipitation in many locations since last autumn.  It was mainly confined to locations south and west of the Missouri River (Figure 1).  That rain/snow over the weekend was the main storm in the past week, meaning, other locations generally recorded little or no moisture.


With the previous mention of snow, it would surprise no one that the past week was a cold week.  Temperatures were as much as 12° below average during the period from May 5 through May 11, 2021 (Figure 2).  In addition, there was freezing temperatures recorded on several mornings.  My strong suspicion is we will still have to worry about another day or more with freezing or near freezing temperatures, but outside of a few areas this morning (Thursday), the next week appears to be frost/freeze free. 

Not only does this next week look frost free, it also should be a period of consistently above average temperatures.  There will be a ridge of high pressure aloft over North Dakota into southcentral Canada for this forecasting period.  That is an indication of warmer than average temperatures, but also a period where storms will have problems moving through that ridge.  In turn, there may be some scattered showers on occasional, but overall, it appears that most areas will record little precipitation.  The main storm track will be to our north and to our south, which of course has been the overall pattern for the past several months.  It is a long way out there, but there is a storm in the central Pacific as I write this.  That storm is still a week away from the northern plains, but there is a least the possibility that system may end up impacting us toward the middle or end of next week.  There was plenty of chatter on social media about the potential of a storm this weekend, I personally don’t see much if anything falling from that storm as it looks to be heading to our south.  In summation, warm and mostly dry for the next week and we’ll see where that Pacific storm tracks next week.


The projected growing degree days (GDDs) base 32°, 44° and 50° for the period of May 13 through May 19, 2021 can be found in Figure 3.  This period looks to be by far the warmest continuous stretch this spring and in turn, recording the most heat units.


Daryl Ritchison


Director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network

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