March didn't exactly start out on the right foot for folks expecting warm weather. However, Ken Scheeringa, associate state climatologist in Indiana, believes that given a little more time, the weather will definitely warm up. He looks for a warmer than normal April and May.
In fact, he still believes that the spring season could wind up averaging warmer than normal overall, even after a cold March in most of the Corn Belt. For climatological purposes, spring runs from March 1-June 30.
Scheeringa is most confident about the precipitation trends that will unfold this spring. He believes the wetter than normal projection is a safe bet. This doesn't mean that there won't be some days with drier than normal conditions, but it does mean that overall, this spring would be wetter than normal in Indiana. That would be a stark contrast to the 2012 season, when most planting was finished by May 1.
Finding time for field days may be difficult in some areas, he notes. Typically, wet springs produce fewer normal field days for farmers. The only advantage might be that if it's warmer than normal, soils will tend to dry out faster when there is an opportunity to get in the field.
The summer is still a question mark. Scheerigna says that it's too far away yet to predict with accuracy what the summer will be like. If there is an area to watch in the Corn Belt for dryness, he still believes it might be the Western Corn Belt, particularly western Iowa into Nebraska. The drought has eased some since the first of the year, but there are still dry areas in the Western Corn Belt. Stay tuned to see what happens in that region of the country as spring unfolds.