Ag Expo Kicks Off & El Nino Misbehaving

Ag Expo Kicks Off & El Nino Misbehaving

Ag Expo Kicks Off & El Nino Misbehaving

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

The 2015 Annual Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum kicks off today. Being the largest machinery show in the Inland Northwest more than 300 exhibitors are on hand providing attendees an opportunity to see the latest in farming innovations. Over the next three days there will also be 36 educational seminars and forums for farmers and ranchers to attend. During the opening session Art Douglas, Professor Emeritus of atmospheric sciences at Creighton University, presented his 2015 forecast for weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest. I had a chance to chat with Douglas about the El Nino weather pattern we're in that some have referred to as "misbehaving".

DOUGLAS: It really hasn't as yet come to fruition like we were expecting. It seemed to have peaked about June; all of a sudden the southern hemisphere started developing a very strong anti-El Nino pattern, and it really stopped El Nino in its tracks. Within the past month things really started turning around and lo and behold it's coming back.

How does that affect the Pacific Northwest?

DOUGLAS: I think this ridge is really going to be persistent along the West Coast, and so for the month of February above normal temperatures because of the ridge warm off shore waters, but below normal precipitation because the ridge is really going to stop those storms from being able to come inland.

Come spring however Douglas says the ridge should start breaking down and we should see at least normal precipitation coming into Washington, Oregon and Idaho; then as we get into the summer a cooler June and July might help the end of the wheat. And pasture wise?

DOUGLAS: If we do finally start picking up on some moisture in the spring and we have a cool wet June and July, we're going to see really good grazing conditions.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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