NOAA Says Temperatures Likely Remain Cooler Throughout the Growing Season

Temperatures are likely to remain cooler than average in May for northern South Dakota, according to a recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. Spring and summer precipitation remains a challenge to forecasters this year, with a lot of uncertainty in the months ahead. 

The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released a climate outlook for May and the three-month season ahead. South Dakota State University Extension State Climatologist Laura Edwards says that north central and northeastern South Dakota were more than 10 degrees below average for the last 30 days. Most of the rest of the state has been cooler than average in the last 30 days as well, but not as extreme as some northern areas have been. 

Edwards says the temperature outlook for May through July does not indicate consistent warm or cool temperatures, which may indicate swings between warm and cool periods throughout the growing season. 

From mid-March to mid-April, an area from the southwest to northeast has measured more than the typical amount of precipitation for this time of year. Most of the precipitation fell as snow, with some late snowstorms that affected travel and delayed or disrupted spring farming and ranching activities. The northwest and southeast, however, have been drier than average for this time of year. 

The precipitation outlook for May shows a lot of uncertainty. The NOAA report shows equal chances of getting more or less precipitation than usual. But Edwards has a glass-half-full mentality, despite the uncertainty. She says that May can still bring some timely rainfall. In combination with the cooler temperature outlook, farmers and ranchers have an opportunity to hold on to the soil moisture that was gained in the spring snowmelt season.