Meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com says a strong wind advisory was issued in Kansas, the top U.S. wheat state, on Saturday for wind speeds of 30-45 miles per hour and gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Wheat in the Southern Great Plains was vulnerable to damage due to very dry soil conditions. Virtually no rain has occurred for a month in southern Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle.
"Extremely dry weather in October explains the dismal HRW wheat crop prospects. Virtually no rain occurred last month in southern Kansas, Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle, top producing areas for hard red winter wheat," she adds.
Martell says a strong cold front pushing across the Plains Saturday triggered scattered strong showers in a band from northeast Kansas to the Texas panhandle. "Rainfall was .50-.75 inch, but isolated heavier. Rain affected some of the driest areas of the bread-basket, replenishing topsoil moisture. Fields are dry through a deep soil layer, following severe summer drought, so more rain is still needed," she says. "This band of heavy rain was tracking across the Midwest overnight."