Farmers are out in their fields (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Farmers are out in their fields (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – Paulding County OSU Extension Agent Sarah Noggle said recently that for the most part, farmers can work in their fields anytime they wish. She noted that planting conditions have improved so much that Paulding County farmers are rolling around the clock in some instances.

“We had an area in the north-central part of the county late last week that had a real downpour for a few minutes but that was rare. Overall, working conditions have been quite favorable,” said Noggle.

Weather specialist Rick McCoy said that the latest 8-14 day forecast released by the National Weather Service indicates above normal temperatures to continue through much of May while precipitation amounts are forecast to be slightly above normal.

“This is the weather pattern we thought might emerge in late March or April,” said McCoy, “but the La Nina effect in the eastern Pacific held on longer than we thought. Finally, we see the emerging weather pattern that we thought we would see all along.”

In the meantime, weather specialists associated with the OSU Extension in Columbus are predicting a progressive weather pattern will continue over the next two-three weeks. Experts anticipate that this will allow for periods of dry conditions to be mixed with periods of wet conditions.

This week should see many dry hours to allow for planting to be hit hard. While a cold and damp April put things behind schedule, we will continue to see things catching up to normal with mild and drier conditions, Columbus officials said.

The outlook for summer continues to call for slightly above normal temperatures with slightly below normal rainfall, Columbus officials said. However, as is often the case, the high variability in summer rainfall this year will stretch from dry to not dry conditions.

McCoy said that as summer heat builds to the north, northern areas will likely get clipped by some flooding events around the edge of the heat dome over the summer.

Over the next 2-3 weeks, rainfall will average 1-3 inches with normal being about 2.5 inches. Some places will be a bit wetter and others somewhat drier than normal. However, everyone should see some rainfall for the rest of May.

Finally, soil temperatures have been quickly responding to the warmer air temperatures by finally returning to around normal values.