The start of every month I always check with Tom Hoverstad Scientist at the Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca (SROC) about the previous month's weather. With the snow and the well below zero temperatures on the way this weekend I guess we are paying back Mother Nature for the really nice weather we enjoyed in January?

Our average temperature for January 2021 was 19.2 degrees and that was 6 degrees above normal. In addition it was the third month in a row that temperatures were warmer than normal. We received 11 inches of snow which was just above normal. However, precipitation was .2 inches below normal. We saw two snow events but one of them was a very dry snow.

The frost depth is 6 or 7 inches with the soil temperatures at 2,4,and 8 inch levels all are around 30 degrees. The frost depth will not likely get much deeper even with the really cold temperatures in the forecast this weekend because of the snow cover. Another example of how well snow can insulate the soil.



The downside to the nice January and snow cover is the soil temperatures. Insects like corn rootworms overwinter in the soil and they survive very well with temperatures at 25 to 30 degrees. A couple years ago we saw soil temperatures get down to 15 degrees and the next year we saw very low corn rootworm pressure. I still think I prefer the warmer winters! Click on the link and listen to Tom Hoverstad discuss our January weather.

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