2020 Morel Mushroom Season Forecast by Chris Matherly
How good will the 2020 Morel Mushroom season be?
Every morel mushroom hunting season is determined by just one thing… It is all about the weather. The right amount of moisture without any dry spells as well as a gradual warming in temperatures, without any huge cold spells with freezing temperatures, will make for an epic season. A mild winter won’t make much of an impact in the season as long as everything weather-wise comes together at just the right time. I did a previous blog on this subject, click HERE to view it. Below is Chris’ 2020 morel mushroom season forecast for how good overall it will be:
What does Chris forecast the 2020 Morel Mushroom season timing will be?
Chris combines first his “gut” feeling, and over many years it usually reigns true, then researches many different factors such as forecasted temperatures and precipitation.
How does ground temperatures affect the morel mushroom season?
Ground temperatures at a depth of around 3″ is one of the key factors for the start of morel mushroom growth, and acts as a “trigger” when the ground reaches around 52 degrees. 3-5 days of a consistent 52 degrees or higher will begin their growth process.
What happens to the morel mushroom growth if there is a big cold-snap after they have already started growing?
Once baby morels have emersed and become visible above ground they are very susceptible to damage by a hard freeze of 28 degrees or more for more than a couple hours. Freezing temperatures over 4 hours will usually destroy them and they will turn to mush and disintegrate within a couple of days. Below is a photo taken in Georgia this year that shows it was frost-bitten:
How does rain affect the morel mushroom season?
Ground temperatures trigger the morel mycelium to begin growing but what is there has been no rain? Like I said above, it is all about the weather. For a good season with an abundance of morel mushrooms fruiting, it is imperative for there to be consistent sufficient rainfall, at least enough where the ground does not dry out at all. Too little rain will cause fewer morels to emerge. Too much rain can also occur as it did in the southeastern US in 2019 where numerous heavy rains occurred just before and during the morel season causing many locations to flood-out. Below are two precipitation maps for this year, first a past 7 days precip and then the past 30 days:
Overall Thoughts for the 2020 Morel Mushroom Hunting Season?
I think in most areas the 2020 morel mushroom season will be at or above average. I expect a very productive season! While foraging for morel mushrooms this year, be sure not to pass up on many other edible species you may encounter:
Be sure to join the club and make this your very best morel mushroom season ever! Happy Hunting and I hope to see you in the woods! -Chris M