NEWSMAKER: Aberrant April stalls Missouri planting season

| April 24, 2018
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The persistent cold this April, which has only recently shown signs of relenting to warmer temperatures, has put Missouri farmers behind schedule.

A spinning air mass over Hudson Bay sent arctic air into the midsection of the U.S. this spring. According to USDA, a majority of Missouri’s wheat crop is in fair to very poor condition, and almost no corn has been planted due to cold soil temperatures. In fact, according to climatologist, Dr. Pat Guinan with Missouri University Extension, this year’s month of April may set a record. The northern half of the state reportedly averaged more than 15 degrees below normal during the first 10 days in April. Some of those days experienced temperatures in the single digits, as well as snowfall. Dr. Guinan says the state is on pace to experience what could be the coldest April on record. The current record was set in 1907 when the average monthly temperature was 47.2 degrees.

Another anomaly this month is the lack of expected precipitation. Dr. Guinan says some portions of northwest Missouri have seen only up to a half-inch of rain this month, which is far below normal. However, planting prospects look good for the near future, with temperatures on the rise, and dry weather continuing.

If a cold month record is broken this year, it would be the first time in almost 35 years that has happened in Missouri when December, 1983 beat out a previous record.

Furthermore, the unprecedented April weather phenomenon is not just limited to Missouri, but several states in north-central United States from Montana to Michigan.

KMZU Newsmaker segment from April 24, 2018 featuring Dr. Pat Guinan, climatologist at University Missouri Extension:

Dr. Patrick Guinan

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