A Look At Global Soil Moisture And Trend

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Assumed is that U.S. drought risk is the only significant dry regime influence on northern hemisphere crops for the summer 2021 season. Is that notion true? The second-most watched area is the Black Sea region. Late spring rains have doused marginal dry soils in Ukraine, Southwest Russia and Russia’s Southern District. Not far away an intense drought is occurring across Turkey. The eastern spring wheat region in Russia has shifted into drought.

Northern hemisphere concern areas are the North-central/Midwest U.S., France and West-central Russia. Europe/Southwest Russia monitored closely.

Fig. 1: The end of May global soil moisture ranking anomalies and 3-month trend.

Discussion: Assumed is that U.S. drought risk is the only significant dry regime influence on northern hemisphere crops for the summer 2021 season. Is that notion true? The second-most watched area is the Black Sea region. Late spring rains have doused marginal dry soils in Ukraine, Southwest Russia and Russia’s Southern District (Fig. 1). Not far away an intense drought is occurring across Turkey. The eastern spring wheat region in Russia has shifted into drought.

Europe crop areas are generally OK thanks to a reversal in the rainfall pattern from sharply dry in April to very wet in May. However, France manages to trend drier and marginal drought concerns are present there.

Much of eastern and southeastern Asia are unusually wet according to the NOAA/CPC analysis except dry conditions for Thailand. Palm oil regions of Borneo are drier.

In North America, dryness is expansive! Much of the northern U.S. trended drier during meteorological spring. Meanwhile the Mid-south States trend much wetter. Already established western U.S. and southern Canada drought persists.

So…in the northern hemisphere areas of drought that can impact crop regions are certainly a northern U.S./southern Canada concern but also France and West-central Russia dryness requires close monitoring. The Turkey drought could easily shift northward toward Southwest Russia later this summer.

Southern hemisphere drought issues remain across Brazil and increasingly for South Africa. Patchy dryness has emerged along the south coast of Australia.