Ag Weather Impacts

Ag Weather Impacts

Dennis Hull
Dennis Hull
Thursday marked the 1st day in the last 12 that nearly all farms in the Columbia Basin saw above freezing temperatures. That sunshine really made a difference as this early March solar radiation is about 2 and a half times greater than what we would get in early January. Now, an upper level trof of low pressure will push across the Columbia Basin today and Saturday, but since the air mass is originating from Canada it's rather dry, so the main effect will be cooler temperatures this weekend. A little bit warmer air will return Monday ahead of a pacific front Monday night and Tuesday and it looks like this front will bring the next good chance for rain and snow. At this point, precipitation amounts appear to be rather light at around a tenth of an inch or less. Even warmer air is likely for the mid to latter part of next week. Most of the Columbia Basin has 5 to 10 inches of snow with a water content estimated between 1 and 2 inches. What are the possible scenarios for this snow to melt and soak in the ground or run off? Through Wednesday, it is likely there will be slow melting each day followed by subfreezing temperatures at night, which will keep the runoff in check. After Wednesday, temperatures moderate to within a few degrees of normal and either remain slightly above freezing or dip just below freezing at night. Along with mostly sunny skies, this should increase the snow melt and runoff, but at this point flooding does not appear likely through next week unless local drainage systems become clogged.
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