Stormy March, cool start expected for Ontario 2021 planting season


It’s been a relatively mild, dry winter for most of southern and eastern Ontario, which has many asking if the mild weather can really last all winter and into spring.

Last year’s quick thaw but persistently cool planting season did no favours for corn and bean yields in 2020. Could 2021 hold more of the same?

To get that answer, we look to Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc., who is here to fill us in on current conditions, the northwesterly flow pattern, and what the early spring might look like.

“Spring will be challenging at times with storms coming up from southwest,” he says, with March and into April perhaps being cool and wet. That stormy, cool bias could delay the very early field work, he says, but the heart of the planting season should fit into more of an average temperature and moisture window.

Lerner predicts that the actual growing season is likely to be on the dry side, but not nearly a drought or drought-like. “I don’t think [the dry bias] will be as persistent as last year,” he says. Summer is likely to stay in a pleasant range into late spring and into summer without a trend to excessive heat in the heart of the growing season.

Weather follows patterns, and Lerner often looks to the past to line up current conditions. What’s this year shaping up like? He sees a possible trend to match with 1967 and 1985, but it’s still early. La Nina is still playing out, he adds, but is weakening as we move into the growing season. With cooling ocean temperatures off the west cost of North America, there are still plenty of weather patterns to watch, to see how the summer shapes up.

Hear from Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. with a full discussion on factors at play in the early 2021 weather season:

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