2022 Climate Survey Results & Summary
Over these last few months we’ve been having conversations and learning more about our changing climate and what that means for the Green Industry. Last August Becky Thomas and Maggie Thomas Harper of SGN and Kellie Schmidt of the IGIA put out a call for growers to share their insights, questions, and concerns about extreme climate and weather patterns and how they affect operations and decision-making. After receiving over twenty responses from growers across the state, we got together with state climatologist Dr. Trent Ford and presented our findings at the Illinois Climate Summit last September. Through these conversations, we all learned that we have a lot of questions! How can we accurately predict weather patterns when there seem to be more frequent extreme weather events? With changes in the climate, how can we plan for safe planting and harvesting times? And what kind of tools are out there for growers, business owners, and decision-makers to help guide our operations?
We’re fortunate to collaborate again with Dr. Ford at the InvigorateU conference in Bloomington on January 17th and 18th! We will be sharing about the survey results and the tools that are currently available to help those in the green industry. We wanted to create a hub for these tools on our website so that growers can have an easy and quick reference point when searching for the information they need!
Tools Presented at the Climate Summit
Midwestern Regional Climate Center hosts many different pages that offer useful information, such as:
- Midwest Climate Watch – Maps with common variables, such as temperature, precipitation, snow, wind, humidity, and more. Monitor current conditions and put conditions into a historical perspective. Special topic sections for agriculture, Great Lakes, winter, drought, and more.
- cli-MATE Online Data Portal – A powerful self-service portal for downloading climate data and generating customized statistics, tables, and charts. Navigating cli-MATE is a helpful PDF to get you started.
- Vegetation Impact Program (VIP) – A monitoring, assessment, and networking program that offers a suite of resources to help minimize negative seasonal vegetation impacts.
- Useful to Usable U2U – Climate-based decision tools to help the agricultural community assess crop growth, manage frost risks, and guide fieldwork and investment decisions.
- New Freeze Date Tool – Created by the MRCC in collaboration with the USDA Midwest Climate Hub to provide information about the climatology of freezing temperature dates across the north-central and northeastern United States.
- Frost/Freeze Guidance
- Vegetation Climate Maps
- County-Level Drought Monitor – Released weekly using five classifications to show areas that may be going into or coming out of drought.
- NationalNOAA Integrated Drought Information System – Updated weekly to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. Drought categories show experts’ assessments of conditions related to dryness and drought including observations of how much water is available in streams, lakes, and soils compared to usual for the same time of year.
- NOAA Climate Prediction Center
- Illinois State Climatologist Homepage
We look forward to having more conversations about what climate predictor tools are available to us! As we learn more, we will continue to update this post as a resource hub.
Links and descriptions were gathered and assembled by Kellie Schmidt, Maggie Thomas Harper, and Becky Thomas.
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