Thursday, 17 January 2002: 4:30 PM
A blueprint for the use of NOAA/CPC precipitation climate forecasts in agricultural applications
Grain and forage crops have critical periods when minimum amounts of precipitation are required, with critical period durations ranging from a couple of weeks to a couple of months (e.g., germination, early growth). The sequence of critical periods and amounts is unique for each crop, and may include precipitation necessary to recharge the soil water column before planting. Decisions need to be made at several points during the planning and management process, and reliable information on probable precipitation over the coming weeks and months would reduce risks. The suite of probabilistic forecasts issued by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center presents potentially useful information in this context. The forecasts need to be adapted and interpreted for each application, however. Crop-specific segments from the 3-month total precipitation Probability of Exceedance forecasts (out to a year ahead), properly combined with forecasts for the next two weeks and month, and associated risks of forecast failure, can provide support in the decision making process. A blueprint for the generation of such crop-specific precipitation forecasts will be presented, with an example for winter wheat in Central Oklahoma.