Drought Center climatologist says lingering dry pattern is a concern

A climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center says extremely dry conditions—especially in the High Plains and western Corn Belt—are a concern heading into winter.

Brian Fuchs says current forecasts show the dry pattern could continue into 2021.

“The likelihood of going into next spring with drought lingering in the Plains and Midwest is fairly likely,” Fuchs says, “and even with what we’re seeing in the Rocky Mountains and into the Southwest, a La Nina winter doesn’t bode well for substantial improvement.”

Fuchs says it’s a situation he’ll be watching closely.

“As we go into the 2021 production year, if we don’t have that banked moisture in the ground, we could start off on the wrong foot—and that could carry over through the entire growing season,” he says. “So it’s something that does concern me.”

Fuchs says one the key factors to watch will be where the winter storm track sets up, starting in late November and early December.

“Realistically, in the western Corn Belt, we’re going to have to really pay attention to what conditions are looking like as we go into winter—because they’re probably going to be pretty much the same going into spring.”

AUDIO: Brian Fuchs

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