Farm Horizons, May 2010

It is Minnesota weather, after all

By Tim Dahl

“A cow with its tail to the west makes weather the best; a cow with its tail to the east makes weather the least.” – Old weather proverb

What about spring?

It is hard to imagine that only six weeks ago, we had more than a foot of snow on the ground. Within that time, we not only lost all of the snow cover, but spring, too.

As we look back to March, we have to ask ourselves, “Do we really live in Minnesota?” If you told me that it would not snow at all in March and April, I would not have believed you. But, as a matter of fact, I have witnessed this exact event. This is just another example of how volatile our weather can be.

About six weeks with no precipitation, our first true precipitation of the spring fell in mid-April. If that was not weird enough for a spring, another amazing feat for a Minnesota spring happened – the temperature. Since the beginning of March, we have seen more than our fair share of above-average temperature.

Are you starting to see a pattern yet? You may remember last fall, when there was a lot of talk about an above average winter. Now, looking back, we can see that this winter had a typical Minnesota snowfall. Well beyond the predictions.

So, whatever happened to that prediction? Well, it is finally here; better late than never. As we are able to get outside, we can start our work sooner and enjoy the warm weather.

However, all this warm weather has made me think about our summer, and what is to come.

Forecasters are confident that our weather pattern will change, from warm and dry, to a more typical pattern. This change is expected to occur during the mid to early end of the month of May, and persist well into August.

If this change occurs, we will have equal chances for an average rainfall and average temperatures. However, if this change does not occur, we could be in for a hot and dry summer. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope we luck out with enough rain and decent temperatures, for a good crop.

As we watch the pastures “green up” and look forward to the planting season ahead, take another look and see which direction the cows tails are facing.

Happy summer, er, spring, that is.

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