Latest Global Soil Moisture Trend and 15-Day Precipitation Outlooks

May 2022 North Atlantic TC Seasonal Activity Forecast Update: La Nina continues – seasonal activity forecast increases.
05/03/2022, 9:26 am EDT
La Nina to Weaken but Stays Intact for 2022
05/10/2022, 8:15 am EDT
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Fig. 1: April 2022 global soil moisture anomaly rankings from NOAA and annotated 3-month trend.

Discussion: The April 2022 global soil moisture anomalies and 3-month trend reveal many important crop-area developments as the middle third of 2022 arrives (Fig. 1). The Midwest to Mid-south U.S. trends wetter. The wet trend in this zone is typical of La Nina spring. Drought conditions remain profound across the western half of the U.S. and have intensified in the West/Southwest States. In Europe, dryness has intensified from France and Portugal eastward across Central Europe to Italy and further east into Ukraine. This drying region is becoming the focus of potential drought for summer 2022 and less so Western Russia where a wetter trend has developed during springtime (so far). Across East Asia, a wet zone has developed from north of Mongolia to far northwest China. However, previously wet soils in Central Asia to India are drying rapidly and likely more so than indicated due to a record hot high-pressure ridge in recent weeks across this region. Southeast Asia is wetter while parts of Indonesia have trend drier. In Australia, the west-northwest coastal areas are shifting wetter and occasional profound rains have left the already soaked east/southeast coastal region wetter. Northern Australia has shifted drier. In South America, the summer drought in Southeast Brazil, Paraguay and northeast Argentina is erased. Dryness has shifted north across the remainder of Brazil into Bolivia. Northwest Argentina is very dry.

In the latest 15-day precipitation outlooks extremes rule! In the U.S., dryness broadens from California, the Great Basin and Southwest States across the central and southern Great Plains and includes Texas (Fig. 2). ECM ENS extends the dry pattern eastward to include the Ohio and Tennessee Valley(s) and into the Southeast U.S. Through the next 10 days the pattern is very warm.

The drying soil moisture conditions across Europe continue as the 15-day precipitation anomaly outlook by ECM ENS is very dry (Fig. 3). East of the Black Sea region an extremely wet regime is indicated. Extremes rule in this region! The very warm pattern anchors over Western Europe while Eastern Europe/Western Russia is cool.

In South America, the pattern flips again as the wet climate of recent months in Southeast Brazil/Northeast Argentina reverses dry again (Fig. 4). Northeast Brazil is wet and the remainder of Brazil has a mixed forecast but not as wet as indicated late last week due to a transient equatorial Pacific MJO pattern.

In China, eastern wheat-growing areas are dry in the latest 15-day precipitation forecast (Fig. 5). Areas to the north are also very dry. The wet weather regime clearly occupies Southeast Asia. A tropical system could bring heavy rains to the upper East Coast of India otherwise India stays dry.

In Australia there is no change. Forecast models continue to forecast an extremely wet 15-day outlook especially in the East (Fig. 6).

Fig. 2-3: ECM ENS percent of normal precipitation forecast for the U.S. and EU/RU.

Fig. 4-5: ECM ENS percent of normal precipitation forecast for South America and East Asia.

Fig. 6: ECM ENS percent of normal precipitation forecast for Australia.