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Harvest Forecast: Unsettled Pattern Might Make Harvest Windows Small

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Harvest likely runs into its biggest challenge this week, as our forecast pattern gets very unsettled. There will be moisture around and multiple chances are the biggest threat to seeing good progress this week.

We start things off this weekend with a continuation of mostly dry weather. Saturday will be partly sunny but still cool. Clouds thicken some in the afternoon and we can’t rule out the odd sprinkle, especially farther north in the lower peninsula.

We can see moisture off an on through the day Saturday in the UP.  Temps get back to near normal for Sunday, but clouds quickly build and we expect some afternoon showers to develop along our next frontal boundary.

That’s just the beginning of a much more unsettled pattern over MI. From Sunday through next Friday night, we see at least three waves of moisture trying to move through the state. That first boundary Sunday is gone by the pre-dawn hours Monday, and will be only a few hundredths to .3”, and 50% coverage, mostly in central and eastern MI, although the front runs all the way back into SW MI.

The other waves are spaced out for Tuesday late afternoon into Wednesday and Thursday afternoon into Friday morning, and have potential for bigger rain totals. We see .25”-.75” out of each one, with coverage at 90% of MI. We will be on the front line, with the active precipitation track right over the state.

The best way to likely look at this week is with cumulative rain totals from Sunday night through next Friday night. Those will be .5”-2” with coverage at 90%. We will be keeping fingers crossed for a mostly lower part of the range. The other problem will be that we are only looking at a day’s worth of drying or even rain free time between waves, so it will be very tough to see wholesale cutting in the state next week.

Behind the Friday wave, we see another influx of cold air…likely to the same level or colder than what we saw to finish this week. IF you made it through this most recent cold without killing frost, you probably will not make it through next weekend…. a good, solid end to the growing season seems to be on the way. However, we are fully dry for the daytime hours Saturday and Sunday. AS milder air tries to come back up Sunday night, we may squeeze out a few scattered showers over the state but stay at a few hundredths to .25” at most.

Extended Period:

After the challenges of this week, we turn dry and mild for the extended 11-16 day period for the week of the 26th! No rain expected from the 26th through the 1st Temps will be near to slightly above normal. We see excellent drying, and this will likely be the window to catch up on the last of harvest.

Weeks 3 & 4:

Week three continues the mild but dry push of the extended window through the first full week of November. Nearly normal precip means we are looking at likely one rain maker in that period. However, we swing wet with several stronger fronts in week 4, taking precipitation to above normal as we head into mid-November. Temps will pull back a bit getting closer to normal, but still trending slightly to higher side

Week 3

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)

Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)


Week 4

Precipitation (green: above normal, brown: below)


Temperatures (blue: below normal, orange: above)