Corn Belt Showers Bring Renewed Concern

June 25, 2008 07:00 PM Editors

Locally heavy showers and thunderstorms in the Corn Belt are bringing renewed concerns about excessive moisture, especially in the middle Mississippi Valley USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility reported Thursday. However, in areas not affected by flooding, very warm weather favors winter wheat maturation and the rapid development of corn and soybeans.  Elsewhere in the country:

  • In the West, cool weather is confined to areas along the Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, hot, mostly dry weather continues to promote fieldwork and crop development, although dryness remains a concern for some rainfed crops across the interior Northwest. Smoke from numerous wildfires is lowering visibilities across northern and central California and neighboring areas.

  • On the Plains, scattered showers and thunderstorms are heaviest across the northern half of the region. Drought concerns in North Dakota are gradually diminishing, but non-irrigated summer crops across thesouthern half of the High Plains remain stressed by heat and drought. 

  • In the South, hot, mostly dry weather continues to stress pastures and rain-fed summer crops, especially in Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas—areas that never fully recovered from last year's drought. Showers continue, however, in the vicinity of southern Florida, and are spreading toward the central Gulf Coast. 
Near-term Outlook: A series of disturbances rotating though the Midwest will maintain showery, unsettled conditions for the next 3 to 4 days. Additional Midwestern rainfall could reach 2 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts.  During the weekend, cooler, drier air will overspread the Midwest, while shower activity will increase across the eastern one-third of the U.S. Rain may become heavy along and near the Gulf Coast. Weekend showers will also develop over the south-central U.S., including Texas. Meanwhile, hot weather will continue in the West, especially across the northern half of the region. 

Extended Outlook: The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 1-5 calls for above-normal temperatures across much of the western half of the nation, while cooler-than-normal weather will prevail in the Northeast and the central and eastern Gulf Coast States. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in California and much of the Plains, western Corn Belt, and Mid-South will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Four Corners region, the lower Great Lakes region, and along and near the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.

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