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Drought Monitor: Drought Expands Across Central Corn Belt

June 14, 2012
By: Julianne Johnston, Pro Farmer Digital Managing Editor

According to the National Drought Monitor, despite end-of-the-week rainfall in areas of the Midwest, widespread deterioration occurred due to "continued subnormal precipitation, increased temperatures and high moisture demand for the emerging crops."

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"Accordingly, D0 was expanded to cover the rest of Illinois, northwestern and most of central and southern Indiana, southern Michigan, and northern Ohio as the past 30-days have only brought 25-50 percent of normal rainfall and 2 to 6 inch deficits. In addition, D1 was increased in southeastern Iowa and northeastern Missouri, southeastern Missouri, central and southern Illinois, northeastern and southwestern Indiana, and northwestern Ohio where 60-day precipitation was 40-60 percent of normal with shortages of 4 to 8 inches," states the monitor. "D2 was slightly widened in southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana as the rains missed these areas. 90-day precipitation was less than 50 percent, and deficiencies were between 8 and 12 inches."

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Meanwhile in the Southern Plains, after a dry April (Texas) and May (Oklahoma and northern Texas), abnormal dryness and drought had crept back into most of central Oklahoma and eastern Texas, but recent rains have made this area drought-free again. "In southern Texas, however, another mostly dry week called for some expansion of D2. The heavy rains in southeastern Wyoming, northwestern Nebraska, southwestern South Dakota, and northeastern North Dakota were enough to diminish D1 and erase D0 there," it adds. "In the central Plains, however, little or no rain, unseasonable prolonged warmth (since March), windy weather, and increased water demand by crops and pastures have rapidly deteriorated conditions to where impacts are worse than what would be expected. In Colorado, much of the state saw a 1-category deterioration, with D3 expanding in the northwest, D2 in the southwest and central, and D1 across most of the east."

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During the next 5 days (June 14-18), a mostly tranquil weather pattern will envelope the lower 48 States, with storm systems tracking along the U.S.-Canada border and across Canada. "In the upper Midwest, western Corn Belt, and northern Plains, however, stalled frontal systems are forecast to drop moderate to heavy rains (1 to 3 inches) on most of Nebraska, Iowa, eastern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. Scattered light showers may fall along the Gulf and southern Atlantic Coasts, including Florida, and in northern New England. Most of the West, Southwest, Southeast, and East will be dry. Temperatures should average above-normal from northern California into the central Rockies and Plains and northeastward into the Great Lakes region. Subnormal readings are expected in the Northwest, southern California, and along the East Coast," states the monitor.


 

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