Weather and climate resources
An excellent one–stop shop for finding weather and climate resources is the Minnesota Climatology Working Group, which is a collaboration between University of Minnesota and the State Climatology Office with the Department of Natural Resources. Tools of special interest to irrigators include the following:
Up–to–date maximum temperatures recorded throughout the region – Midwestern Regional Climate Center
Average frost free dates for Minnesota (1971–2000) – Minnesota Department of Natural Resources ( 355 K PDF)
Historical climate and crop yield data in the Corn Belt to plot local monthly temperature and precipitation variations back to 1980, track county crop yields and trends, and consider crop yields in the context of monthly temperature, precipitation and growing degree day (GDD50) data – Useful to Usable team (U2U)
This evapotranspiration model uses atmospheric observations from ASOS stations and satellite–derived insolation estimates to predict water use by plants – University of Wisconsin
This is a rapidly expanding network of ET weather stations that are administered by local Soil and Water Conservation Districts through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. These stations deliver precipitation, temperature, wind speed, solar radiation, relative humidity and ASCE Penman evapotranspiration.
We live in a world of increasing precipitation variability, and in the absence of an infield rain gauge, radar based estimates that are ground verified offer farmers a rapid and fairly accurate estimate of rainfall. Growers can also get local agricultural forecasts from the the National Weather service database through the University of Kentucky.
Current and archived precipitation data by day or month for Minnesota – National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS)
Includes ET, spraying and drying conditions, livestock stress and growing degree days (GDD) – University of Kentucky PointAgCast