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Amazing Weather For the 2020 Winter Wheat Harvest

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As the harvest of winter wheat coincides with peak thunderstorm and hail season in the Great Plains, farmers are typically biting their nails in mid-June as the combines race to bring the ripened crop in before a thunderstorm can destroy it. 


This year, even though wheat farming conditions are as tough as they have ever been, they may receive a rare break from the weather.

Let’s begin with defining the region we are discussing.

The harvest begins each year in Texas in May and makes its way north. The harvest is now arriving in northern Oklahoma. The area from about Enid, Oklahoma, to Wichita, Kansas, is — per acre — the most prolific wheat producing area of the world.

The weather in the area being harvested has been mostly dry the last ten days. The 3-day rainfall map depicts badly needed rain fell in western Kansas and Nebraska (where the crop is not as far along) but it stayed dry from Wichita and points south.

Warm, dry weather is an absolute requirement for harvesting wheat.

Now, the amazing news: The forecast for the next ten days? No thunderstorms? For the next fifteen days? No thunderstorms. Statistically, this is a wet time of year.

Here is the forecast rainfall over Kansas and Oklahoma (the harvest will not start until later in Nebraska) the next 12 days:

For the area that will be harvesting wheat? From now until Father’s Day morning, no rain or thunderstorms forecast (by the ECMWF model). Other global models are similar.

Farmers are probably the most unappreciated (relative to their contribution) members of American society. Let’s take a moment to appreciate their hard work and let’s get the crop harvested!

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