USDA: Dryness Increasing for Southwest Corn Belt

July 15, 2013 03:42 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote a rapid pace of corn and soybean growth. However, USDA notes short-term dryness is becoming more pronounced in the southwestern Corn Belt, including portions of Iowa, Missouri, and southeastern Nebraska.

In the West, USDA says showers are increasing in coverage and intensity across the southern Rockies, where unusually cool weather prevails. "Cool conditions also cover areas along the Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says locally heavy rain in parts of Oklahoma and Texas is providing much-needed moisture for rangeland, pastures and summer crops. "However, enough rain has fallen in some areas to trigger flash flooding," USDA continues. In Waco, Texas, more than 4 inches of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours, USDA details. "In contrast, mostly dry weather prevails on the northern and central Plains," USDA reports.

In the South, USDA reports drier weather is overspreading the southern Atlantic states, following recent downpours. "In contrast, unfavorable dryness continues to stress pastures and rain-fed crops in the Mid-South," USDA explains.

In its outlook, USDA says a disturbance currently centered over the southern Plains will continue to drift westward, providing the focus for locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. "The threat for flash flooding will eventually shift from the southern Plains to the southern Rockies and parts of the Desert Southwest," USDA reports. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, from Arizona to Texas, according to USDA. Meanwhile, USDA says a heat wave will persist through week’s end across the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, where temperatures could approach 100°F, USDA details. "Hot weather will also prevail in the West, excluding the southern Rockies and the Southwest," USDA adds. Toward week’s end, strong thunderstorms associated with a cold front can be expected to develop from the Great Lakes states into the Northeast, according to USDA.


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