Drought conditions have changed very little across the Plains and Midwest this winter and have increased concerns as to what this may mean for the upcoming summer growing season. In an effort to answer these concerns, meteorologists at MDA Weather Services analyzed the top 10 precipitation and temperature analog years for the heat and dryness of the 2012 summer. They then projected the information forward by a year in order to discover any discernible signals.
According to Senior Agricultural Meteorologist Don Keeney, "The result, derived from the top 10 precipitation analogs, generally shows a higher incidence of prolonged drier conditions the following summer, especially in the western Midwest and central and northern Plains. As well, the temperature analogs from this past summer show precedence for warmer temperatures in the Plains the following summer."
While not an official forecast for this summer, the historical analogs that similarly match last year's heat and dryness do indicate that odds are in favor of drier and warmer conditions again this summer.