By Clint Thompson
A wet winter is likely to carry over into early spring, according to Pam Knox, University of Georgia Extension agricultural climatologist.
Knox noted in her Climate and Agriculture Blog that the latest seasonal outlook for February through April shows wetter conditions for the next three months. She emphasized that scenario can have positive and negative impacts on farmers.
“I don’t have any reason to think we’re not going to continue to see this pattern. I expect to continue to see things wet,” Knox said. “It’s not going to rain every day. We’re going to go through periods of wet and dry. But I think overall the pattern is going to be pretty wet.
“The good impact is that we’re not likely to go to drought in early spring because there will be plenty of soil moisture there in case we go through a dry spell. The bad news is if the ground is really wet, it’s hard to get into the fields. It’s never a perfect situation here, but I think overall, people like having that moisture available, because we do often go into a dry spell in the May-to-June period. It’s good to have that moisture available for the crops.”
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, dry conditions continue to diminish across areas in the Southeast, especially in southern and central Georgia and most of Florida. Drought-like conditions persist in some areas in Alabama. But it has improved greatly compared to the fall.
“We went through a period where some places didn’t see rain for almost two months, especially to the west of us in Alabama. It takes a while to get back to normal after you’ve been through that really dry pattern,” Knox said.