Let’s start with a recap. Last December, we were still experiencing La Niña, with colder weather in the upper half of the United States and wetter weather on the west coast. Earlier this year, it became certain that we were moving away from La Niña, but what was ahead of us was unclear. Now, we can say with full confidence that El Niño is here. And beware, he’s coming in hot. Dynamical models are predicting that we can expect a stronger-than-normal El Niño, likely to continue through the winter of 2023/24.
Let’s talk about what this means for our forecast. In the majority of the United States, we can expect especially warm temperatures, with the Corn Belt being the exception. For those farming in the Midwestern U.S., we can expect around average, if not slightly warmer temperatures. We are also quite confident that we will experience more rainfall than normal, especially in the Midwest–specifically the mid-Mississippi River valley, approximately from the Missouri border and downward. Recent seasonal outlooks have also forecasted relief for the Eastern Nebraska, Western Iowa, and Kansas regions.