Home News Michigan Ag News Planting Forecast: Planting Windows Revolve Around Significant No Precipitation Days

Planting Forecast: Planting Windows Revolve Around Significant No Precipitation Days

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The question for this planting forecast truly revolves around whether or not we can cobble together any kind of significant multi day window of no precipitation with enough drying to have a chance to move into the fields. We do see an active precipitation track coming together over northern MI, but there may be some opportunities in other areas. Here is the breakdown.

This weekend features warmer air, but some clouds in that warmer air for at least Saturday.  Sunday clouds thicken quickly in the afternoon, and that may lead to some scattered showers over the UP and the northern half of lower MI. Totals are not impressive, but we can see a few hundredths to .25”, coverage at 60%. Rain comes up from the southwest to start net week, with a first wave of rain Monday.  That wave of moisture brings .25”-.75”. After a 12-18 hour break, rain is back from late Tuesday through Wednesday early afternoon, but only over the southern third to quarter of lower MI. Southern tier counties can see another .25”-.5”, but by far the bigger totals stay south there into IN and OH.

We stay dry Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. Our next front comes in from the west and northwest this coming Friday. Rain totals will end up in a range from .1”-.6” with 90% coverage over MI. That front does bring significantly colder air behind it which will be in control through the weekend.  We likely turn out partly to mostly sunny next Saturday and Sunday, but still will keep temps below normal.

Next week, temps start to moderate right away. However, as the warm air lifts north, precipitation likely comes too. Precipitation starts to ride the warm air north, but for the end of the 10 day window, we likely stay dry in MI for Monday. If this pattern can hold, perhaps we can see some attempt at field work toward next Tuesday. However, models are in big disagreement over this general pattern, with some featuring much higher rain totals than we are projecting. The wild card, in our opinion will be how much cold air can control the narrative as we move through the first full week of May…if we see more impressive cold air incursions, that will likely bring more rain. If we can hold on to more moderate temps, that likely can even out moisture just a touch. The map below shows potential combined rain totals for the coming 10 days.

Extended Period:

The extended pattern begins with that shower activity Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, and that could produce .25”-1” with 75% coverage. From there, we see drier potential for Thursday the 13th and Friday the 14th, with above normal temps and southwest winds. Showers and thunderstorms could return for Saturday the 15th.

Weeks 3 & 4:

Weeks three and four are trending cooler than our recent pattern. We see temps both weeks now near normal for the time of year (except for the eastern edge of the state near the Lakes), rather than several degrees above. Week three will be above normal in precipitation over western MI, but the rest of the state stays near normal. Week four actually moves to drier than normal across central MI, while the rest of state stays near normal. This gives us some encouragement for potential planting the last half of the month.

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)