Prairie farmers should enjoy a good winter and spring and have a good if cool summer, says U.S. weather system analyst Scott Yuknis.
However, the Prairies and central United States face a high risk of “harsh drought” in the coming years that may last multiple years at a time.
“I’m concerned that the growing areas of the U.S. up into Canada are going to go dry for two or three years (a few years from now),” Yuknis told the Cereals North America conference Oct. 30.
“This is not one season dry then one season wet.… You get locked-in.… Once it begins, it lasts.”
Yuknis said a complex group of factors set up the medium range forecast for crippling and lingering drought to hit somewhere in North America, similar to the present drought in California.
“I’m very confident that this climate pattern is going to generate harsh drought,” he said.
“That’s coming. This type of pattern is going to produce that.”
The period of risk should begin in 2016, Yuknis said.
Fortunately for farmers, the next growing season looks relatively benign.