By Elwynn Taylor, Department of Agronomy
There are several sources of weather information available to help farmers make informed crop production decisions.
To see the forecast for your ZIP code go to www.weather.gov. Click the general location of interest within the U.S. map. Now click your “exact” location (if you miss it a bit you get a chance to put in your ZIP code.)
This gives your 7-day forecast. Note that you can check the time the wind shifts, the rain starts and other weather events by clicking “Hourly Weather Graph” at the lower right portion of the page.
Information such as the wind speed an low temperature also can be found at www.weather.gov. Return to the page showing the map of your location. You will see a long column of terms on the left that includes “Climate” and “Local.”(The link is marked with a brown box at the bottom of the vertical blue bar in the graphic below.)
If you choose “Local,” you will get a screen that looks like the one below. The site automatically takes you to the "Observed Data" tab. The first choice, Daily "Climate Report (CLI)," will give you yesterday’s weather information for the city you select. You also may choose “Preliminary Climatology Data (CF6)” to get daily records for the past months.
Data also can be obtained for the ISU Agronomy farms that have weather stations from http://mesonet.agron.iastate.edu/. Choose the ISU AgClimate network from the list in the lower left corner. For 20 minute or even minute by minute data of wind direction and speed as well as temperature and other data see the ASOS and AWOS networks listed in a bar across the top of the mesonet page
Elwynn Taylor is a professor with responsibilities for developing and implementing extension education and information programs in agricultural climatology.
Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on May 23, 2008. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.