Al Dutcher says if the current El Nino weather pattern holds, it might bring a reversal of conditions seen last spring. “We were warm last March and cold in April. Perhaps (this year) we’re going to see our cold in March and our warmth return in April,” Dutcher said. “If that occurs – even with the soil moisture we have – if we can get enough drying between individual events, with the warm conditions, we may not see nearly as much of a backlog in terms of planting.”
Of course, there are lot of “ifs” when it comes to weather forecasting. A lot depends on if the El Nino continues on or starts to weaken in the spring. “It does look to me like this event is probably going to be in an El Nino-like situation at least through the middle of the summer and, most likely, will continue on into the fall period,” Dutcher said.
The position of the jet stream in the spring will also be a factor, according to Dutcher, who’s a climatologist at the University of Nebraska.