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1st Quarter Panhandle Weather Summary

NOAA map showing range of rainfall for the past 90 days compared to normal.

NOAA map showing range of rainfall for the past 90 days compared to normal.

Much of the Panhandle has had above average rainfall during the first quarter of 2014.  While most farmers are getting frustrated because the wet ground has delayed planting preparation, ranchers are smiling because they have finally gotten ideal weather for cool-season forage production.  While there are certainly areas of the Panhandle that have received abundant rainfall over the past 90 days, there are also areas that are more than 2″ below normal.  Jefferson County had the most extremes in a single county, with more than 8″ above normal near the coast, and areas 2″ below normal nearer to the Georgia line.  So far in 2014, the Carrabelle station has collected 19.5″, which is over 7 inches higher than normal.   The dry location was Monticello where just under 13″ fell, which is more than 2 “  below average for this location.  The average for all six stations was 16.4 inches for the first three months of 2014.

Weather data colected from six UF/IFAS FAWN stations in the the Florida Panhandle.

Weather data collected from six UF/IFAS FAWN stations in the the Florida Panhandle.

Temperatures have finally started to warm back up as we prepare for crop planting.  Even so, soil temperatures through March remained cool, keeping early planted corn from quickly emerging.

14 Jan-Mar Marianna Weather SummarySoil Temperatures have warmed up in April, but the recent cold front that moved through earlier this week dropped average soil temperatures down below 60 degrees again.  As the weather warms back up over the next few weeks, soil temperatures should finally be above 65 degrees for peanut and cotton planting, but they are not there yet.

average soil temperatures measured at the Marianna FAWN station.

average soil temperatures measured at the Marianna FAWN station.

At this point, the weather forecast for the months ahead is favorable for growing crops and pastures in the Panhandle.  While there is no drought expected in the Eastern US, slightly above average temperatures are expected.

14 March-June Drought Outlook14 April-June Temperature Outlook

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Jackson County Extension Director, & Livestock & Forages Agent

My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/04/12/1st-quarter-panhandle-weather-summary/