Snow And Stuff

22/03/13 -- It's snowed heavily all morning here, so not made it into the office. Hence blogging activity will be minimal today. Just heard on the radio that this weekend is forecast to be the coldest March weekend in 50 years.

Even so May 13 London wheat is two quid down on nervousness over Cyprus. The talks with Russia have apparently broken down, bearing no fruit, so they have a weekend to extract a rabbit from the hat or face a possible Euro exit come Tuesday.

Also on the radio this morning is news that the Cypriot banks have limited the amount of cash you can draw out of an ATM to EUR250/day.

Next week could be a good week to be a burglar in Cyprus, as just about every house out there will have a stash of cash under the bed.

Meanwhile we aren't the only ones feeling an Arctic blast. MrsN#3 has a theory that whatever weather the Americans get, we often get it a couple of weeks later. I've already heard stories that winter is going to stretch well into April. If MrsN#3 is right then watch out. Here's what Martell Crop Projections are saying for the US:

A snow storm on the Colorado High Plains and frost in the Mid South are part of continuing wintry forecast in the United States. Temperatures would remain 10-18 F below normal in the week ahead.

Very Cold Morning in Heartland

Temperatures this morning once again were bitterly cold in the Upper Midwest, -10 F in North Dakota, Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Zero degrees F (-17 C) was reported in northern Iowa and 10 F in Chicago. Rather than thawing, frost is deepening in exposed corn fields, 30 days ahead of the typical beginning of Midwest corn planting. Wintry weather is expected to continue with intense cold temperatures in the 7-day forecast.

Beneficial Snow Predicted in High Plains Wheat

A new winter storm is expected on the weekend, promising heavy snowfall for the High Plains. Northeast Colorado and Northwest Kansas are expected to receive more than one foot of snow, melting to one inch of moisture. Southwest Kansas may receive .75 inch of precipitation. This is a semi-arid region, so heavy precipitation greatly enhances wheat yields.

Earlier this winter, the Southern Great Plains was hit with back-to-back snow storms that improved field moisture for wheat development. February storms affected southern Kansas, Oklahoma and West Texas, causing welcome heavy precipitation over one inch and up to 2 inches in Oklahoma.

The stormy winter is giving hard red winter wheat a chance to improve, following extremely dry weather last fall, when wheat was planted. If heavy snow develops as expected in the Central Great Plains, hard red wheat prospects would brighten further. Winter storminess in the Great Plains may be linked La Nina's demise, the "drought maker" .

Northern Farmland Frozen and Snow Covered

This would be preceded by a wave of snow showers today in the Northern Rockies, spreading east across the Great Plains tonight. Spring wheat farms in the Canadian prairies and North Dakota are expecting around 4 inches of snow. Thus, instead of a shrinking snow-pack, coverage would increase in the leading spring wheat areas of North America. There is no chance for melting with ongoing cold temperatures.

Eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota temperatures this morning were -8 F to -11 F. Northern Iowa reported lows near 0 F (-18 C) and 20 F below average. These temperatures are more typical of January than late March and highly unusual. Weekend temperatures are expected to moderate in the US heartland, though remaining well below normal.

Mid South Snowy Cold Forecast

Virtually all of the United States is affected by the cold forecast, including the Mid South, a key farm area in the Mid Mississippi Valley. It encompasses southeast Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. The main crops produced are winter wheat, cotton, rice and soybeans.

The Mid South weather forecast is wintry calling for cold rain and snow the next 2-3 days. This would be followed by night freezes on Sunday and Monday. (See the attached minimum temperature forecast Monday night-Tuesday morning).

This is highly unusual for the Mid South in late March. By April 8th in 2012, the Mississippi Delta crops were more than 50% planted. This is another example of the stark contrast between 2012 spring warmth, compared to 2013's historic cold.