Spring 2020 Issue
April 16, 2020

Spring has gotten off to an early start throughout much of the United States, as mild temperatures have eliminated most of the snow cover across the country. While not as severe as spring 2019, river flooding will be possible in some of the major tributaries of the Mississippi River in the Midwest. Soil moisture levels across the Midwest and Northern Plains remain high, which could delay some fieldwork, particularly in lower-lying fields. Temperatures are anticipated to remain relatively close to average over the spring across this region, accompanied by above- normal precipitation.

Portions of the southern Plains and eastward through much of the Southeast have had elevated precipitation during the winter, which has increased soil moisture and river levels. This trend is likely to continue into the spring, as-milder- than-average temperatures and above-normal precipitation are anticipated.

The 2019-2020 rain season in the West proved to be somewhat less robust than that of 2018-2019. In California, for example, snowpack water equivalents are approximately 55% of normal. The good news is that despite the drier than normal conditions, many reservoirs remain close to average in terms of water stored as a result of prior years of above-average precipitation. Nevertheless, irrigation water allocations are expected to be lower than in recent years.

Seasonal Drought Outlook
Drought Monitor Change