The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com:
Wetter Midwest Forecast in Mid July
The GFS model is predicting good rainfall this week that would ease drought in the heartland. The big picture is one of a weakening ridge of high pressure that would come under attack from showers later this week. A trough of low pressure is expected to develop over the Great Lakes increasing the rainfall in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region.
The weather last week was mostly dry in the Midwest though widely scattered showers produced some rain. The three-week rainfall analysis shows a large area of drought in the Central United States.
Ordinarily, three weeks of dryness would not be worrisome, but shallow-rooted crops, planted into wet fields, have succumbed to moisture stress. The area affected by drought includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Corn leaves are rolling in the afternoon attempting to reduce moisture losses through transpiration. Soybeans were planted very late this season, behind corn. Plants in many areas are abnormally small with shallow roots suffering greatly from heartland drought.
Only 6% of corn was silking July 7, the beginning of the key pollination stage, compared to 20% on average. Severe planting delays are responsible for slow crop development. If heavy rains materialize, as predicted, it would be highly beneficial for corn, as pollination begins increasing across the Midwest this week.
Hot temperatures, highs in the upper 80s - low 90s F would continue this week in the Midwest, stressful for developing crops. This afternoon's crop condition reports are expected to show deterioration in the corn and soybean crops. declining crops.
Drier Forecast from Medium Range Team
The Medium Range forecast center, another branch of the National Weather Service, predicts a drier week ahead in the U.S. heartland. They see a more persistent ridge of high pressure warding off heavy showers in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois and Missouri. Much of the Midwest would benefit from rainfall but much of the western Corn Belt would receive only modest rains, under .50 inch. High pressure in the heartland would weaken, but not completely disappear. This is an alternative view on rainfall chances in the Midwest.
The Sunday satellite image shows showers circulating around a large ridge of high pressure. Texas is expecting very heavy rain relieving very serious drought. The wheat harvest has finished up with poor yields but cattle grazing would benefit greatly from 4-5 inches of rainfall.