What Does 2022 Have in Store for Michigan in Terms of Weather

March 8, 2022

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Video Transcript

 - Well, good morning, everyone. I've got nine o'clock, so we're gonna go ahead and get started. My name is Eric Anderson, I'm a field crops educator with MSU extension. I'm located down in the Southwest corner of the state, St. Joseph county, county, not St. Joseph Michigan. So first off, I want to definitely thank our sponsors who have made this possible. So of course you all know, that it is free for this whole month worth of programming is free for you all. And that's due to the generous donations of some of our partners, so we thank these folks. So everything that we do with MSU extension is open and available to the public. So you should have gotten an email at the beginning of the week that had a schedule, and all of the different links, that's why you're here. But this is where we're headed for today, and I'm just gonna let you know, for those of you who are planning on joining for most, if not all of today, that the schedule for today is gonna be a little different than maybe a lot of the other tracks that you may be visiting here this month. In that, as these folks were asked to come and give a presentation, only what half of them will be presenting live today. Three or four of them had other things going on, conferences or whatnot, so they have prerecorded their presentations and so I am basically just gonna be hitting play for several of them. And I'll kinda let you know who those are for the morning. It's going to be Dr. Kurt Steinke. His presentation is prerecorded. Sarah Franczak's presentation is prerecorded. And then you may not even have John LaPorte if you're looking at an earlier version of the agenda, but John is gonna step in live this morning, and augment what Sarah was talking about in her presentation. And then Dr. Christy Sprague is also out of town, and so her presentation is prerecorded. But to kick us off here today is Dr. Jeffrey Andresen. He is going to be live, 'cause you see his picture right now. So Jeff's gonna talk a little bit about what this winter has been like and maybe what we can expect coming up for at least the early part of the 2022 growing season. So I'm gonna stop sharing, Jeff, thanks for joining us. And I'm gonna turn things over to you. - Well, thank you, Eric, and good morning to everyone, wherever you might be here, at either Michigan or close by. As Eric mentioned, I'm gonna start here with a weather discussion actually, and we're gonna bring in some climate as well. And I would note on my intro slide here, after late winter visits, and chose a little bit different, ahead of spring, a more springlike image on there originally and have shifted gears, given what we saw yesterday. But it is that time of the year, and I'll talk more about that in a second. I do several major pieces of what I'd like, how I'd like to spend the next 45 minutes or so. I'm gonna look briefly at last year and talk, there was some interesting weather and climate attributes and pieces of that. I wanna talk about current climate trends and this is looking really, at the land that are, I think are very relevant and something that we all need to be aware of. I'll look a little bit at what some projections of the future here sort of will be, and you'll see, there's definitely some links between where we have been recently and what is projected here for the longer term future. And then I'm gonna end, I see many of you and deal with many of you, we'll look at the weather here over the next, well, the short term and then on into the growing sea and then finish up with that. But so I mentioned here, let's first all look in the rear view mirror, back at 2021. And really a couple of major highlights I think, or low lights depending on where you were. But I think the biggest issue whether, the biggest weather of the whole year was that dramatic reversal, in terms of moisture and water availability, love from a very, very dry start to the calendar year and then on into the spring. And even into the early summer with a major reversal during the summer, and going from to little water, and very dry conditions to the opposite. And in some cases actually significant flooding in some parts of the state. The other less maybe dramatic piece of 2021 was that with a couple of exceptions, we ended up having an unusually warm growing season. And it actually turned out warmer than normal for most of the calender year. And I'll show you some statistics for that here in just a second. I'm gonna start though with a daily, this is a daily graph of maximum and minimum temperatures. The blue lines here are the, well, the top of it's the maximum temperature. The bottom is the minimum temperature observed on that day. Now I'm using Three Rivers, which is pretty representative here, I think of the Southwestern lower Michigan. And on this graphic, there's other information here. It starts at the beginning of January, the calendar year, and then goes through the end of December again of last year. Some of the colors in here, this brown area, this is the normal max and min temperature for that time of the year. And you can see the annual cycle here of temperature, our minimum temperatures, bottoming out, most parts of Michigan here late in January, and then reaching a maximum typically during about the first week or so of July. And then again, that's our main annual cycle. The other colors here, these sort of this pink color here at the top, those are the record maximum temperatures for that date. And then of course the blue would be the record minimum temperatures. And you can see most of the year we were in between, but there were a few records set on the way. So a couple of highlights here or changes, again, if it were normal, we would see most of our blue lines here within this brown area. But you can see, there are a couple of periods here where we were not normal. One of them was during the month of February, we had an incursion of Arctic here. Again, this is going back a whole year to sort of jog the memory here a little bit. But we had a sort of so-called polar vortex event where we had several air masses out of the Arctic move southward down into the lower 48, including the upper Midwest. And you can see that pretty clearly here. There was actually some damage done in some parts of the the state with over wintering crops. That warmup occurred, though, you can see late in February and into March, there was a period here in the spring where we did have some untimely spring freeze frost events here for that also caused some problems well for fruit growers, for one. And then as we moved end the season here, you can see most of the time here, especially for the middle and latter part of the summer, our temperatures are continuing to be above for warmer than normal. And on one final note on here, you can see well we had a prolonged fall, warmer than normal temperatures that are cold, a little bit of a cold outbreak around Thanksgiving in November, but that was followed in turn by an unusually mild December. And I'm gonna talk a little bit more about that in just a moment. So those are some of the, again, some of the major changes from normal. As I mentioned, the big story for 2021 really had to do with precept. This is a daily accumulation of observed precipitation once again at Three Rivers, but it's pretty representative I think of most of that part of the state. The green line here are the observed totals as they accumulated during the year beginning in January. Sorry about that. And then the brown thick line here, these are normal accumulations looking at the 1991 to 2020 long term normals where we should be or what we should be seeing. And as you look at this graph here, of course the real interesting part is to look at that accumulation. And so if the slope of that green line is lower than the brown, we're obviously, we're trending below normal precipitation accumulation, and vice versa. And what you can see pretty clearly though here, in the beginning of the year was this, I mentioned that extended dry period. And which really, especially in Southwestern lower Michigan, that drier the normal period, went all the way back to the fall of 2020. Some cases all the way back to October of 2020. Continued for most of the off season. And you can see by the time we get here to the beginning and the growing season in early May, we're several inches really in the hole, or in a deficit situation in terms of moisture. And there was justifiably a good deal, a great deal of concern actually, in some cases for water. We typically in Michigan, we enter the growing season with, well, at least field capacity, for most of our soils that's a blessing, that's a good thing to have because we're less likely to run outta water later on as we get into the middle and latter part of the summer. But again, in 20 slash 21 off season, it was anything, but. In some cases, less than 50% of normal precipitation. Now, the winter is the driest season chronologically, but still that it plays on the precipitation, whether it's liquid or frozen, plays a major role in cycling back or bringing our water cycle back up to a field capacity to begin the growing season. So the drier the normal conditions continued here for much of May, and then into June. And then you can see we saw a rapid or a major change. Beginning in here at this location in Three Rivers, about the third week in June, the timing of this varied, depending on where you were, but there were several major weather systems that brought in, not just rainfall, but very, very heavy rainfall. And you can see that these periods here, here's actually a couple of events here that occurred in late June. Here's another one in early August, I'm gonna come back to that one in just a moment. And then you can see even a couple more in the late summer and early fall. But by the time we get here to the end of the year, you can see not only have we gotten back up to normal, we're actually several either few inches above the normal for the year. So what began as a very, very dry year ended up actually to be what are the normal. And that was definitely the case over most of the, at least the Southern half of the state. But the very, very unusual to see swings like that, that dramatic. And so as we look at some maps here, this is the spring, May, June and July, the departures from average temperature here on the left. And you can see that for the vast majority of the corn belt, and certainly for Michigan, we were warmer than normal for the spring. Even with some of those frosty mornings we had in May. Whoops went on by itself here. Departures from normal precipitation, again, as I just mentioned, a much drier than normal. And you can see deficits in Southwestern Michigan in some cases on the order four to six, even seven inches below normal for the season. That's, again, that's something we don't see very often here. Moving into the summer months, June, July, and August, the same format here. Temperature departure is on the left. Once again, warmer than normal, much warmer than normal, the farther north you go. But, we see the big change or big reversal here in precipitation, moving from drier than normal to in most cases, to wetter than normal. Some cases, a fairly large surplus. And again, that's hard to do, to go from a deficit to a large surplus in a relatively a short period of time. Now, here's, I mentioned the event in early August. I'm a volunteer observer for what's called the CoCoRaHS network. It's a voluntary precipitation observing network, where I live here in Haslett, and every morning I go out and check my four inch gauge here, whether it's frozen or liquid. But on the 12th of August, I went out and I knew we had some strong thunderstorms the night of the 11th and into the 12th, but I went out and I looked at the gauge and I almost couldn't believe it. I've been taking measurements for 20 years, and this was by far the largest. You can see actually from the gauge, I almost well, I had to take the gauge inside. I was afraid I would screw it up, to make the measurement here. But all of this water in here is all overflow because the inner tube only holds one inch of water. And there's up, the gauge holds up to 11 inches of excess water. It's designed to work in places that have hurricanes and other massive events, but we don't in Michigan. We typically don't see this. And so I very carefully measured the precipitation in here, and I got a reading of 5.4 inches, which again, by far, the previous record was little over three inches back in the late zeros I think 2007. So this was a new record for my site. Not only that, but when I looked at more closely at one of the environ weather stations, which is nearby and looked at the timing of the rainfall, we had 5.32 inches in just six hours. That's ordinary, and that's for Michigan, that's top end. If we look at the statistics, what that would suggest, how often would we expect to see an event like that. And let me move back over here again, you can see that it's at least 100 years. Maybe pushing more than 150 years. So very, very, very rare type of event, amazingly, amazingly in the area, there were reports of some flooding, but nowhere what you would've expected with that type of rainfall. And so quickly, and a lot of it had to do with the drier, the normal conditions we had earlier in the year. The landscape was just, the water wasn't there, but that was one of the steps in bringing a situation back from deficit situation to a surplus situation. And there were several of these events, especially in Southeastern lower Michigan, the Detroit area was hit by at least two and sometime, maybe three in some areas. And there, there was a lot of flooding reported. So, and I bring this up because it's one of the trends I wanna talk about. These events are becoming more frequent with time, both the frequency and also the severity of these events is something we can actually see in our climate record. I mentioned the change, the flip flop from too dry to too wet. This is a comparison of the US drought monitor for the state of Michigan, from the middle of June. And you can see at this point in time, more than 90% of the state is in some category of abnormal dryness, including D2 or severe drought, which is something we don't see that often here in Michigan. But you can see a large area of Southern and central lower Michigan by the 15th, we're in that D2 category. And then just here, six weeks later, at the end of July, you can see it's almost all gone. We're down to, I believe less than 15%. So major, major changes, something again that the rate at which that change occurs is very, very unusual because of again, how little time was taken. I want, I talked about above normal temperatures. These are degree day totals from last season, from May through September, the observed totals here on the left. And then I think more importantly, the departures, you could see that for most of the state, especially the south, we had some cases as many as 300 base 50 degree day surplus for the season. So way over with the warmer than normal temperatures. It was less than that as you went way up to the far north, but greater surplus as you went south. That's a lot, that's again, and in many cases, that's at least 10, maybe some cases pushing 15% of a growing season and something we don't see that often. So more than enough, thermal time and heat accumulation last year to do the job, no issues with, well virtually no issues with crops failing to reach physiological maturity before time. There was plenty of warmth. And interestingly enough, I throw this out here because it's, again, it's another illustration of how, well, how critical, these are corn yields, from USDA NASS by state. And you can see from much of the Eastern corn belt, Michigan included, we set a new record for corn yields, 175 bushels, that's great. But when you look back at the season and with the start, you would say, "Wow, that is pretty impressive," but it shows you also for corn, how important the timing of individual weather climate related stress is. And the lack of water that we had of course last year, was all very early in the season, not in the middle or into the grain fill, when it typically causes a lot more problems. But just another amazing feat to pull that off, and again, the similar situation here for much of the Eastern corn belt and note, as you go west into Wisconsin, Minnesota, and then into the Northern Plains, where there's a lot more corn and soybeans growing these days. There drought was a major problem, and it continued on into the middle and even in the latter part of the growing season. And it did actually, especially in Minnesota and into the Northern Great Plains, it did have a major impact there. So again, we were very, very fortunate given the unusual weather, but it worked out for us well last year. Well, I'm gonna jump into, I mentioned some current and recent trends here, follow up on some of what you've seen. Well one of the clear trends we get is that, Michigan is getting warmer with time. And this is a graphic showing mean annual temperature. This is for the state as a whole and, in Southwestern lower Michigan. Very, very similar to this. 2021 as you can see here at the end was warmer than normal, 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a fairly large departure for the whole year. It ended up being the third warmest on record since 1895. And if you're wondering what the other ones were, 1998 and 2012 are the other ones that are above this, but it was a warm year. Especially with given the mid late summer and then December. So there is some also, note here in the last couple decades that while conditions are generally warmer than they have been in the past, in past decades, that there's been a little bit of leveling off that's occurred here really. And the last 10, 15 or so years, there's a more important piece of this though, as we look at this, the overall change here, you can see in temperature somewhere on the order of 2 1/2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century, doesn't seem like much. That's a fairly significant change from what we know about long term climate, but it's important to note that this change has not been symmetrical during the course of the year. More, relatively more of this warming has taken place in the winter season. A little bit lesser extent in the spring. That's one of the lessons, and as I'll show you in summer, it's very, very, it's a little bit different, but most of the warming has occurred in the cold season, and at night. Our minimum temperatures are rising or warming more rapidly than our daytime temperatures. I'll show you, even in some cases, there's no for the maximum temperatures, there's very little change at all. This a particular graphic now, or actually, we're looking here at precipitation. And I thought I had another, this is the winter temperature that I wanted to show you for the months of December, January, and February. And this is importantly here. Now we're looking at, this is actually Southwestern lower Michigan data. So including the area of that part of the state. On the left hand side here are mean maximum temperatures for this long term period since 1895. This is for the summer months, June, July, and August. And on the right hand side here are minimum temperatures. And so I mentioned, again, most of the warming is occurring in the winter and at night. Well, in the summer time, we've had almost no warming at all during the day, our maximum temperatures. But we have had warming occur at night. So the range, the difference between the maximum temperatures has been decreasing with time. And we see that in other parts of the Midwest as well, but in an agricultural sense, this is actually for us, it's not too bad a thing. One could argue a little bit maybe about relative humidity being an issue here for plant disease. But in general, it's a not unfavorable thing. Now, the other big trend, and I'll have to go back to it here, is Michigan is getting wetter. Statistically, this would be at the top of a list I think for most weather and climate related people, as to changes here in the state. So again, once again, we're looking at 1895 through the end of 2021. This is total precipitation, all liquid plus melted, frozen precipitation all collectively together. And you can see that since really the 1930s, the end of the Dust Bowl, Michigan has gradually become wetter with time. Especially over the last few decades. And they're showing no really no signs of that trend abating or leveling off 2019. Well, it's actually the second wettest year here on record. But for 2021, you can see that even with the dry start, we ended up 1.75 inches above normal, with a little less than 33 inches averaged over the entire state. And that is a ranking out of 127 years since 1895 of 91. So again, a warmer and wetter than normal year. And that's again, that is the general direction that we we're heading here in the state. So now wanna say something about that increase in precipitation. Over the last 50 years, we have seen precip in Michigan on average increase somewhere on the order of 10 to 15%. That translates to about three or four inches of additional water that we on average did not have, a half a century ago. And if you think about that, another way of looking at that, what would be a normal month during our warm season when we get most of our precipitation? Well, three, 3 1/2 inches, in the Southwest, it's a little bit more than that, 3 1/4. So one way of looking at that is now that we have on average, approximately one additional month's worth of precipitation that we did not have 50 years ago, and all that big picture, it translates into a less risk of running out of water, especially in the middle and latter part of the growing season. Of course, that is the primary weather related forcing factor for many of our crop production systems. Is either the abundance or the lack of water, especially later in the season. And again, this trend is something which is beneficial. Research has shown that it has played a role in increasing crop yields across, well certainly in Michigan, but also across much of the corn belt. It's being observed there too. Why do we have, the question is, why do we get more precipitation? Where does that three to four inches come from? One of the answers is, we have, well, there's more days with precipitation. That's increasing the frequency of measurable precipitation. Some cases as much as 30% over the last 50 to 100 years, but we're also having more precipitation per event. And that's what you see here. The red circles here are increases and heavy precipitation events across the Midwest. And you can see, there's a couple of exceptions, but in general, we are seeing those heavy events, especially the extreme events increasing with time. Here's another one, this is looking at the first percentile. So the 99th percentile in terms of amount at the very, very top of the distribution. And you can see again, increases with red circles here over much of the region, including Michigan. So both more wet days and more heavy precipitation events. Here's another one, another way of looking at this, we're now screening down or moving down to the the summer season, the summer months, June, July, and August. And we're now looking at the seasonal precipitation total here in the top for the same time frame. The blue line, here's the long term moving average, which is I think the thing to look at. And you can see that it's steady, or maybe increasing a little bit. Not quite as much as what we saw for temperature, there is some seasonality to our precipitation. There have been more increases in the cool season, a little bit less so actually interestingly enough, in the fall season. But most seasons we have observed some increases, but you can see here, it's not, not at least not as much to explain some of those large changes we just looked at. But, more importantly here, in the red line, this is a moving average of standard deviations. So this is looking at the year to year changes in seasonal precipitation during the summer season. And what you can see here, which is really interesting, is that we have some noise in here relatively low variability during the 50s and 60s. But, look what happens here, relief from the late 1970s up to the present. We're actually seeing a decrease or decline in that variability. And what that says, what that is implying is that, the seasonal precipitation totals that we're seeing now have been relatively less variable than they were in decades past. And when you add a well, at least level, or maybe slowly increasing, that's a part of that story. And the lower variability here again, is a positive thing for agriculture, it ultimately translates to lower risk of running out of water. It's part of the same overall trend or direction. So an interesting little piece we need looking at variability. Here's one other piece of this and this again, once again, from Three Rivers using the climate series there in St. Joe county. This is looking at the length of dry spells. And we think, how many days do we go in Michigan, where we don't see any precipitation? So less hundreds of an inches is what's measurable, but where we see zero. And back in the drought of 1988, we actually had, in some cases we had as many, we had a whole month without that horrible drought in the early part of that growing season. But that's an extreme, we rarely see that. The statistics you see here are for two 30 year periods, 31 year periods, actually 20, I can't add up here 21, 1950 to 1970 on the top. This is called a box and Whisker plot here. And this line in the middle here, looks at the 50th percentile or the median of those 21 years. And then part of the part of the box here, are the 25th percentile on the left hand side of the box, and then the 75th percentile of that, that distribution of numbers. And then finally out here, the whiskers, these are the extremes. The lowest, you can see that there was, one day, which is hard to do or only one day. And then at the top end, we have 18 days. So that if you wanna know at Three Rivers, that's the most we've ever seen here during, or for a dry spell. And if we contrast that or compare that with the more recent decade, 2000 through 2020, a 21 year period, note that the entire distribution shifted downward. Which implies that these extended dry periods, they're less frequent than they were in the past. And the length of those dry periods has also decreased as well. So that's a part of this, again, the same story about a wetter climate. That's another piece of it, but one, for agriculture, which is not unimportant. One last thing too, and this is looking at the national scale. One of the pieces of information that is released by the National Centers for Environmental Information, which is a part of NOAA that keeps, is responsible for all the climate data. They look at $1 billion or greater weather disasters in the US that are related to weather. And that's what you see here is the total count by year from 1980, up through 2021. And what's remarkable about this, and you also at the top here with a legend, you can see what are these things relate to. Well a lot of them have to do with severe storms or with flooding, or with drought, there's a number of things, and you can see the makeup here. A lot of greens here though, that again are severe storms, but what is readily apparent here is that this is increasing. Now, the punchline here and the one that you should make you think is that inflation is accounted for here. Of course, a billion dollar is weather disaster in 2022 is different than one that a billion dollar disaster that occurred back in the mid 80s because of inflation. This graphic, this index accounts for that. And even so, you can still see a very, very clear increase of these events taking place across the US. Now 2021 you can see here, with 20 events, I believe is the total for that particular year. 20, yes, I believe it was 20. Second only to last year, 2021, 2020, but again, a clear increase in these and the really part of this is, and I think the lesson here is that, as we look at why is this increasing, because some of the counts of these natural disasters, these flooding events in many places, they're not necessarily increasing in frequency over time. And if you think about that, well, how can then you see these increasing disasters occur? And the part of the answer, at least if not the majority of the answer is, that we as humans have more in the way. More expensive stuff than we did in the past. And that's not a good thing, instead of becoming more resilient to these curve balls from mother nature and these extreme events, we're actually a bit more susceptible. And that's a little bit of a concern certainly as we are dealing with a shooting and a moving target with regard to our climate. We're getting warmer and wetter as we here, but in other parts of the US, like the Western US, it's becoming warmer and drier, and there's some really, really serious issues associated with that. One last thing here regarding these, the national scene with these events and the numbers of events, in Michigan, you can see that we have had over 40 events in the last 40 years here in Michigan. And the majority of those have been associated with severe storms, but we also have a number of flood events. We actually have couple of winter storms that were there and even some droughts. The most expensive natural weather related natural disaster in Michigan was the flooding event back in August of 2014, down in the Southeastern part of the state that hit a very densely populated area with well, four to six inches of rain. And caused just chaos and incredible amount of damage. But the other thing I wanted to note here is we look at the US and the color scheme here, you can see that Michigan actually is in a part of the country with relatively less of this risk than certainly would be the case to our south and to our east. And of course, you probably realize why, why we see problems down here, much higher numbers. A lot of that has to do with hurricanes, and landfall and storms. That once in a while, we'll see the remnants of one of these tropical systems. But if you live or work down in that part of the country, it's a real threat. And that's why the numbers are greater especially as you move down to the Gulf Coast. All right, well, what is projected here? We've talked about warmer and wetter, what do we see for the future? And really, I think the 5 cent or the very, very brief answer to that is probably more the same for the next couple decades. Projections of temperatures here over the next several decades, this is looking out through the end of the century, using relatively recent guidance from climate models from three to as much as 16 degrees. Those are huge changes here by the end, it depends, a a lot of it depends on really the emissions of greenhouse gases and how much is in the atmosphere, the greater the emissions, the larger warming that has been very, very well documented. And there's strong confidence unfortunately. But note here, in this graphic, which also includes the last century here, as we look to the left side of the graph, and the orange line here are the actual global temperatures that there are no scenarios with cooler than normal temperatures. Everything is warmer than normal. This is again from the state of Michigan, but that's true internationally as well. There are a few areas of the world that are still not warming or warming as much. There's actually a couple that are cooling, one of the north, the Atlantic, that's probably the closest one to us. But they're definitely the exception rather than the rule. So all of these projections are suggesting increasing warming for the remainder of certainly the middle and the latter part of the century that would include certainly larger or greater average temperatures. More days above high thresholds like 95 degrees, a longer frost free season, and then in the lower right, the cooling debris days. That's a measure of how much energy is needed to cool. Now, at the same time, you would also say with warmer temperatures, we would have less energy needs to heat in the winter season. So it's a trade off, and given the actually for us, that's a fairly decent economic exchange in terms of our heating season. But in some parts of the world, it's a different story from that. So we already see many of these trends occurring, not so much, the average temperature is increasing, but remember a lot of it's at nighttime. We do not see, and I think this is important, we have not yet observed an increase in the number of extreme maximum. I think that might be related to the increase in precipitation with additional water in the environment. But there aren't many places around the world where that is not true. But the Midwest and the corn belt specifically is one where there has not been a very well documented case of these high temperatures. And we certainly have seen an increase in the frost free season. Depending on location in Michigan, somewhere on the order to one to two weeks, more longer frost growing season now than what we had just 40 or 50 years ago. That's a pretty significant change. And it's on both ends, both in the spring, the transition from winter to summer. And it's also in the fall, we see increases or changes on both ends of those resulting in a longer frost free season. The the big news here, I think are larger, regard to agriculture is in terms of precipitation. And as we look here, the majority, not all, but the majority of projections for the future indicate a wetter climate for Michigan. But there's a couple of very, very important caveats. The first one is, is that even with more annual precipitation, there is a distinct seasonality. And the projection suggests that most of that additional precip would occur in the cool season. And we would have more liquid precip than frozen given warmer temperatures. The more certainly concerning news is that during the warm season, of course, which is when we need to have the precipitation, need to have the water, most of the projections show flat, or in some cases, even a little bit of a decline in seasonal precip. And that, that is certainly a major red flag. Again, we need the water at that point in time, but also with increasing temperatures, the atmospheric demand for water, potential of evapotranspiration rate, that will increase, and I'll show you that in just a moment. There's another piece of this, though, that's also very important and I've underlined the word here. And that is, that even though the projections may suggest more total precipitation, they also suggest that it falls on fewer days. And so we hear this statement, that's sometimes very confusing, our future may hold both more flooding, heavy rain events and more droughts. And you'll hear that and you'll say, "How, how can that be? "That doesn't make any sense." Well, there's only one physical way that can happen, again, it's yes, there's more overall precipitation, but it just falls on fewer days. The word that needs to be used in a one man campaign or one person campaign here, it's erratic. And erratic is not good for certainly agricultural or even natural systems as well. But that's what a lot of these model suggestions, or model projections are suggesting. And you can see, down here in the bottom, these are the total five day wettest, the increases in the magnitude of those. But also, increases in the number of consecutive dry days. So even though we have more water, it can be stretched thinner because there's more time sometimes between precipitation events. That's something we'll be watching. Now we mentioned potential of evapotranspiration and what you see here for the state of Michigan, this is some very new or some very, very new numbers. Once again, we're looking at these box and whisker plots here for the middle of the century here for two different scenarios about the future. One with lower emissions, one with higher greenhouse gas emissions. And then the same thing for the late century. And again, warming is indicated in all these, at least for the air temperature, but, what about potential of evapotranspiration? What about the atmospheric demand for water? And it also has to do with humidity levels, and wind and solar radiation, these are all key variables here with potential of evapotranspiration. And what you can see from the graphic, this baseline down here at the bottom, this is the long term historical mean. And for Michigan, you can see, it's in the upper 20 inches, about 890 millimeters here. But here are the changes projected for the middle of the century. It goes up about 10 to 15% by the middle of the century, and then by the late century, it's actually projected to go more than that as much as 30% greater than it has been recently. And that's significant again, that's the demand for water. Of course, if the water's not there, the supply is not there, we get stress, we have problems with our crop production systems. Unfortunately with this variable, because of the increase in air temperature, warmer air holds more water vapor, potentially. This is one of the things that there's a significantly more confidence about. It's one thing to project a temperature precipitation is difficult to, it's complicated when they look at the projections. But for this, this variable, which we rarely see potential of evapotranspiration, there is again, greater confidence that those numbers are gonna go up. And that that's a challenge for all of us. As we look here ahead, how do we get water, especially in rain fed production systems. One last thing here, this is a very, very recent research study, looking at changes in the most recent generation of climate projections for the future. And it's looking at the comparison of the new generation, which has just come out over the last year or so versus what we had about a decade ago. And we're looking at two crops, corn here, on the left hand side and wheat on the right hand side. And this is a simulation of what crop yields for corn and wheat would do internationally and globally here through well, for the remainder of this century out to 2100. And one, there's a couple points to take home here, the lower left hand side here, these are projected changes in yield. You can see by the end of the century versus current yields and all the warm colors here are decreases. The green colors are increases for corn, and you can see for many production areas, including large portions of the Midwest, certainly in the Great Plains and the US that's over here, in this part of the graphic. There are some pretty significant decreases in yields indicated by later on, again, warmer and dryer. It's certainly in that part of the world, but you can see that's also true in other large areas, including portions of the current production areas in south America, large portions of especially Southern Europe. And then major production areas in Southern and Eastern Asia as well. So corn is a C4 species, as the carbon dioxide concentration increases, it gets a little bit better with water usage, but it doesn't have the benefit, the so-called carbon dioxide enrichment impact that it does for C3 crops, species like soybeans or wheat or alfalfa. All of those kinda take advantage of increasing concentrations of CO2. And so for wheat here on the right hand side, we see a very, very different story. And that, yes, there are areas of declines, especially across central America, portions of the Southern US, and even down here in south America too, you can see some declines in protected wheat yields by later, but, look at especially the Northern part of the US, much of Europe and into Russia and into Central Asia, we see significant potential increases in productivity. And again, a lot of that has to do with more CO2 available. The wheat crop and plant can take advantage of that. One last thing on the top hand side here, these two lines here are showing the trajectories in global production with time with these different climate scenarios of the future for corn and corn on the left and wheat on the right. And the fact that the new projections show a little bit larger degree of warming more quickly, than the last did. And for corn, we look here at the green line is the last generation. Again, about 10 years ago. These are the projections we would've had a decade ago. The yellow line here, with all the noise around it with a number of different scenarios, that's the new adjusted one. So the outlook here for corn production internationally is significantly less optimistic than it was a decade ago. Again, looking into the far future, but in contrast for wheat, the opposite is true. And that we now have a thought to be maybe some increases in relative productivity internationally occurring with time versus where we were before. So a more of an extreme, a little bit of a surprise, this kind of research. But I wanted to throw that in there because some of these suggest that these changes internationally will be occurring more rapidly or sooner than would've been the case a decade ago. Some cases within the next decade or so. So some of the changes in world production related to climate are probably already beginning to take place, but certainly over the next 10 to 20 years, something to think about. So what's wrap up here. I wanna do a brief look ahead, and as I typically do well, we're getting towards the end of the winter season, but you're looking at sea surface temperatures now in the equatorial Pacific. These are the temperatures themselves. The more important part here, these are the anomalies of the differences versus normal of what we have. And this particular graphic goes back to the middle of December up through last week. And once again, the browns and the warmer colors are warmer than normal, water temperatures, and the blues are cooler than normal. And again, geographically, we're looking right along the equator here. Here is Central America, South America are on the far right hand sides with Australia. And Indonesia over in the Western Pacific on the lower left. And what you can clearly see here, this blue area here, this with cooler than normal water here, this is the hallmark signature of La Nina event where we have cooler water in the central and Eastern Pacific. And I think the thing to note here is, if you can see the dates on here, one of the surprises is that, this La Nina event, which began back last September, October, last fall was the second year in a row we had a La Nina event. And the event that occurred in 2019 slash 20, that one we had during the winter, and we expected to see certain conditions during the winter here, in the Midwest, well, it didn't materialize. It was almost completely unlike La Nina winter. And then we had a second one, of course, this past starting in 2020, or 2021 continuing into 2022. We have seen some weather and climate typical of La Nina conditions here, but despite outlooks, that wanted to kill it off, and have it basically dissipate and go back to near neutral here, certainly by the spring and early summer, there are almost some signs here recently over the last few weeks that, that the La Nina has strengthened a little bit once again. So it's not ready to give up the ghost just yet. And that's probably important here, especially for the next few weeks of our weather forecast. And if we look at what's projected here still, we are still looking for a gradual warming back up to near neutral conditions here by the summer. And then continuing, probably into the fall. On the right hand side here, is actually looking at the three categories of the El Nino Southern Oscillation or ENSO index. The blue of course is La Nina, which we're in right now. And then the other side of the warm event is the El Nino, that's in red, the bars here, and then the gray are neutral conditions, which are in between. Those two, the warm and the cold state. But what this graphic suggests is that, really the probability of a continuing La Nina drops off fairly rapidly here by late spring. And we move to a neutral episode again, neither cool nor warm for the summer, and then maybe end up there by late in the calendar year. There's been speculation we could be seeing anything. There's actually even a chance of a third La Nina that doesn't happen very often next year. But as you can see, the official probabilities here in the far right hand side of this graphic are fairly close. So, but the key message is that we do expect still, even though there has been recent strengthening, we still expect La Nina to dissipate here over the next few weeks. During La Nina events in the wintertime, we have, usually a high amplitude jet stream flow across the Northern Pacific and then into north America. And one of the hallmark signatures of that is a fairly active storm track through the Eastern part of the Midwest. In particular, the Ohio Valley. You can see what are the normal conditions, and that has definitely been the case for a lot of this year. Especially as you go south from Michigan into the Ohio Valley. Many times colder than normal conditions over the upper Midwest, or certainly portion of the Northern Plains, that has also occurred. And we have seen on the other side of the main jet stream flow, we have seen warmer and drier than normal conditions across the south. And that's something we'll bring in your attention to. We're gonna have to try to wrap things up here quickly. After a very, very mild December, and that's, what you see here, are temperature departures in the month of December way above normal. Some cases more than six degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Then that was followed by a big upper air pattern change across North America. And we had a cold January and a cold February, which is recently the jet stream pattern that led to that really has, it's transition to some, it's certainly become more variable over the last week. We had some very warm temperatures over the weekend as an example of that. But more variable conditions than what we had during much of January and February. And even with the colder, the normal January and February, for our winter period of which is December through February, we still ended up with an average temperature above normal, all because of that very, very mild December month. In terms of precipitation, it depends on where you were. I mentioned a very active storm track through the Ohio Valley. That's here on the left hand side here, you can clearly see that with much above normal precipitation. That extends all the way up into portions of Southern lower Michigan, but note that a large area of Northern lower Michigan, and then extending westward back into the Western corn belt and then into the Great Plains, drier than normal. And that's one of the, I guess, things I'd like to focus on here. Snowfall depends on where you were. We've had at above normal snowfall in Northern parts of the state, also in the Southeast, where several snowstorms here over the last several weeks, especially during the month of February. But as you move west, towards lake Michigan, and then west of that snowfall deficits for much of the season. And that's definitely true for a lot of Southwestern lower Michigan. Here's the current drop monitor. And I mentioned that area of dryness across much of the, certainly the Western corn belt. You can see it extends on and covers much of the Western US. The winter has been very dry and I bring attention here because in my next topic, looking at our winter wheat situation, especially for the central and southern Great Plains, a reason for concern here. You can see some D2s, even some D3 extreme drought in portions of the Southern Great Plains here. This is an issue those crops of course, are now out of dormancy and are beginning to grow. They're gonna need water, they haven't had water. They've had too little recharge during the off season. This is a major area to watch, of course, given what's happening in other parts of the world, which is where I'm going this. But keep an eye, especially on this part of the country here, the central and Southern Great Plains. Things could change, but if dryness here continues, there will be definite impacts on our winter wheat crop in the US, and 'cause even more insanity than there has been or craziness here over the last several weeks. One last thing about this, the drought continues unfortunately in the far west, don't look for probably no easy solutions for the far west in places like California, just it's been very, very dry since the beginning of the calendar year. And that of course means problems. There was a very, very wet December, which was wonderful and what they needed to help begin to recharge, but not enough following the beginning of the calendar year. And right now the olives are suggesting that this the dryness will continue over at least portions of this area. So that's an area to watch. For us here in our part of the world, we've been very fortunate, and with that storm track in the Ohio Valley, really we're entering the season with a fairly decent sub-soil moisture. One exception, one might be up in the far Northern part of the state, but there's still time to make up for those deficits. Which, and I don't wanna put too much geopolitics in here, but you're now looking at at Ukraine, which is a major, a major producer of wheat. And this is when, before I came to MSU, I had held a job with the department of agriculture, with a group that did crop yield assessments around the world, including places like the major production areas like Ukraine. You can see most of the winter wheat here grown in Ukraine is across Southern portions of the country. More annual crops, some of the corn and rapeseed oil or canola grown more in the Northern parts of state, but very, very favorable, very, very heavy high production areas. Goods, very high quality soils, lots of similarities between the Midwestern US and this part of the world. So again, a key producer, and you've probably heard some of the gaffs by the, the media who don't realize that they talk about the crops not being able to be planted. Well, that's an annual crop, of course, all the crop we're thinking about here with regard to wheat, which has been crazy, these are all fall planted. As you go north and east from here, you do have some spring planted varieties of wheat, but most, all of this that you're seeing here, these are all fall planted crops. The calendar down here, again, the planting takes place in the fall, and then the harvest in the mid-summer. They have a little bit of a longer growing season for wheat there than we do here in the Midwest. But the big issue here again, it's just hard to imagine, this may futures price here on the left hand side here, graphic, I've never seen anything quite like this, but a move from $7 1/2 again for the old crop contract to almost like, I think it closed yesterday, almost $13. This is just incredible, but if you look here at the supply and demand and don't want to, but it is just a reminder. With the conditions here, Ukraine produces only on average, around 4% or so of world production. 29 million metric tons, but the key thing is they don't use that much of it either, and they export over 20 million metric tons. So they are one of the largest, certainly the top five exporters around the world. Again, and most of their product from Ukraine goes to the Middle East and to Africa, and then to a little bit lesser extent to Southern Asia. So they're not too far away, but the problem of course now, it's not that they have armored vehicles moving through and all crazy combat, that that of course is for those unlucky enough or unfortunate to have to be there, is a problem. But the big issue now is really the infrastructure. And fertilizer, you think about the winter crop coming out, it's breaking dormancy now, and it's gonna need to be fertilized. How can you get fertilizer? How can you get agricultural chemicals? It's impossible under these circumstances right now. So that is why there's so much uncertainty about that huge chunk of production there. The whole, the crop is out there, and this is not mention, we're gonna be talking the same way about course grains and oil seeds a little bit later, as we look at annual crops. So this horrible, horribly unfortunate situation, and difficult one, but that's how we see these price spikes like we've seen. So it's a scary thing, but that's part of what's behind us. So again, don't wanna dwell on that, leaving you with some type of an outlook here, a weather outlook, as we look back to the Midwest. Well, we're looking now at probably a colder and drier than normal week coming up. Another Arctic air mass or Northern North America on the left hand side here, these are temperature departures from normal. For the next week, lots of blues and purples. It looks like the worst or the coldest weather associated with this next air mass will be to our west. Out over the Great Plains and into the Western corn belt. It also on the right hand side here, these are precipitation totals. The tans or browns here are drier than normal. You can see most of the precipitation. We're gonna see a couple weather systems pass to our south and east. Next chance for precip here, anything significant will be overnight Thursday into Friday. But most of the major storm track will remain to our south and east during this upcoming week. Again, with colder than normal weather expected. Here's the surface map for this afternoon. Not a whole lot here in our part of the world. Tomorrow morning, you can see a frontal passage coming through dry, no precipitation. Here's one of the first systems that passes or misses to the south and east. And then by Thursday morning here, at seven o'clock, you can see an area of low pressure developing here. That's the next weather system that will influence us again. I think overnight Thursday into Friday. We could see an inch or two of snow. There might be along the Indiana Ohio border may be a little bit of a mix, but that's the next chance for precip. Other than that, probably not much cold, especially this weekend. Well below normal in terms of temperatures and drier than normal. Here's the total for the whole week. Most cases, 1/10, maybe 2/10 of an inch on top end, but definitely drier than normal for this time of the year. And wrapping up, what about beyond that? The theme here is we look into the medium range is one of moderation. And right now we're looking at a colder than normal period here for the next week or so. Mean temperature's on the upper left, precipitation on the right. Michigan's right in the sort of this boundary area between colder conditions to our north, warmer to, and to our south, and also same with wetter and drier than normal. But the theme that shows up here is colder the normal for the next couple weeks, but then some moderation by late in, well, probably late in the month actually might even be back up and see some above normal mean temperatures. But the other major, I think, ingredient or the major component of the forecast, wetter the normal. That's what to the guides is now showing for both the remainder of the month after the next couple weeks, but certainly for the spring. And given where we've been, especially in this other part of the state, that suggests that it's gonna probably take a little bit longer than normal to get a start here with field work as we look at the next several weeks. The three month down at the bottom here, again, warmer than normal and a little bit normal to above normal precipitation totals. That's also the outlook for the early part of the summer. But again, the continuing theme coming through a lot of these is, at least normal, if not even a little bit above normal precipitation. And with that, I will wrap up. I don't wanna take us into Kurt's time here. So thanks very much. And Eric, is there any time for any questions or comments? - Yeah, we just had one question come in and that's probably all we have time for. - [Jeff] Sure. - How can last freeze date now be estimated? - It's actually some arithmetic. And what we do is, we look at each year. So for the spring season, we do the same thing in the fall as well on the other side of the growing season. But in the spring, we look at the date where we see the last, usually we look at 32 Fahrenheit, but we also look at other temperatures, because well, for corn, for example, in the fall, you'd really, a killing freeze. You'd probably use 28 Fahrenheit, is a killing, but you look at what date did that occur. And so you come up with a long term series. Typically we use 30 years in that, what date it occur, and then we look at the statistics of that. What's in the middle of the distribution, and of course, for the Southwestern part of the state, that median, last 32 degree of reading in the spring seasons probably, well, it depends on the location, but probably somewhere around the first day or so of May, is what the statistics suggest. But importantly, it has changed, and it used to be in April, just 30 years ago, but it has gotten later. And the first occurrence in the fall has gotten later. So again that we have a longer overall frost free period now on average than we we did before. But that's how we get those numbers or put those together. - Okay, great, thank you very much, Jeffrey, I appreciate your coming and sharing, not only the widespread, kinda long term what's been happening over the last year, but also some of the trends. We appreciate the presentation. - My pleasure.