Agricultural meteorologist Joel Widenor, vice president and director of agriculture services for Commodity Weather Group, said there is increasing evidence of a developing El Nino in the Central Pacific, which will mean warmer than normal temperatures, an increased likelihood of storms, and drier or wetter regional weather conditions for much of the nation. Widenor, speaking during the opening general session of the 113th RMA Convention, provided an overview of weather phenomena and discussed their impact on U.S. agricultural crops.

With much of the nation experiencing dry conditions, particularly in major agricultural areas, Widenor said the worst of the heat and dryness will shift to the Northwest and Midwest during July.  Dryness will linger in the Northern Delta and rice areas will struggle to break out of a drier than normal pattern, he said.  "August will provide better opportunities for rain, but this still won't be a 'wet' pattern," Widenor said.  "Rice areas could see a mixed bag, with the best yields likely to come near the Gulf Coast and the worst northward into the mid-Mississippi Valley."