The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com:
Midwest Snowpack Melting, Fields Slowly Warming
Strong warming over Easter weekend has caused snow to melt and recede northward. Northern corn states Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin still have a significant snowpack, but the rest of the Midwest is now exposed. Corn Belt field temperatures are 30-37 F in the north to upper 30s-low 40s F south. Fields must be at least 52 F for corn seeds to germinate.
Strengthening solar rays and lengthening daylight hours are having a positive impact causing gradual warming that thaws frozen fields. Yet the forecast is cooler-than-normal again this week. Persistent coolness is due to the Arctic Oscillation (AO) in the negative, cold phase. March temperatures were among the coldest on record in the Midwest.
Precipitation was reduced in the U.S. heartland due to cold dry Arctic air masses plunging one after another into the Midwest and Upper Great Plains.
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