Fall 2020 Issue
October 21, 2020

The 2020 crop season is wrapping up throughout much of the country as attention turns toward harvest. For the fall and winter, one of the biggest stories will be the evolution of a moderate-to- strong La Niña across the equatorial Pacific and its ramifications for the weather across the country.

Temperatures and precipitation have generally been typical for late summer and early fall across the Midwest, and this overall trend is expected to continue as we progress into harvest season. Therefore, fieldwork conditions should generally be good. As we progress into late fall, there could be a greater chance for chilly and wet conditions from the northern Rockies into the Great Lakes states.

Abnormally warm and dry conditions in the Southwest are likely to continue through the fall and may expand eastward into the southern Plains. Late summer brought abnormally wet weather from the Gulf Coast into the Southeast, largely due to a very active tropical weather season in the Atlantic and Gulf basins. By late fall, this influence should diminish, while drier conditions are expected to develop across the Southwest.

The development of La Niña does not portend favorably for the parched and burning areas of California. Dry and warm weather is anticipated deep into the fall, and La Niña is typically not correlated with wet seasons. Therefore, drought conditions are likely to persist and intensify in much of the West.

Seasonal Drought Outlook
Drought Monitor Class Change