Hot and dry – stressful on plants and people

The forecasts and climate outlooks are still calling for hot and dry (though humid) conditions for the rest of July. This will likely exacerbate any developing drought conditions leading to plant stress and the possible need for irrigation. While dry in terms of precipitation, this heat is also associated with high humidity and lower winds, so be cognizant of the higher heat index values that could put added stress on humans!

Over the next 7 days, northern Indiana could receive up to 1.5” of rainfall, but the southern half will likely receive less than 0.5”. This rainfall is expected to be spotty throughout the state, with no widespread weather systems expected. From now until about June 18th, the climate outlooks are indicating confidence for above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation.

Accumulated modified growing degree-days are trying to catch up to past years (Figures 1 and 2) but the high temperatures may have slowed plant growth due to the excessive heat. The Midwestern Regional Climate Center provides daily accumulated modified corn stress degree-day maps (https://mrcc.illinois.edu/VIP/indexSDD.html). At this point, the heat stress is near normal across the state (Figure 3), but that may change over the next few weeks.

 

Figure 1. Accumulated modified growing degree days for April 1 through July 8, 2020.

Figure 1. Accumulated modified growing degree days for April 1 through July 8, 2020.

 

Figure 2. Comparison of the April 1 through July 8, 2020 accumulated modified growing degree days over the past several years.

Figure 2. Comparison of the April 1 through July 8, 2020 accumulated modified growing degree days over the past several years.

 

Figure 3. Modified corn stress degree days departure from normal for January 1 through July 7, 2020.

Figure 3. Modified corn stress degree days departure from normal for January 1 through July 7, 2020.

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