USDA: Major Rain Possible over the Weekend in the Western Corn Belt

09:13AM May 22, 2013

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a slow-moving storm is producing widespread showers. "Most fieldwork remains on hold due to the ongoing showers, following last week’s torrid planting pace," USDA reports. In addition, cool air continues to settle across the Corn Belt, particularly the upper Midwest, where morning temperatures are below 50°F, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA reports rain and snow showers accompany a surge of unusually cold air into the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. "Cool air is also overspreading California, although dry weather continues to favor fieldwork," USDA continues.

On the Plains, USDA says cool, dry weather prevails, except for lingering showers in eastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska. "On the southern High Plains, intensifying drought remains an immediate threat to the health of rangeland, pastures and winter wheat, as well as emerging, rain-fed summer crops," USDA details.

In the South, USDA reports thunderstorm activity is currently confined to the central Gulf Coast region, although showers linger along the southern Atlantic Coast. "Producers have generally made good planting progress in recent days, although delays still exist in the Delta," according to USDA. In Mississippi, for example, planting of cotton, rice and soybeans was 23%, 25% and 34% complete by May 19, compared to the respective five-year averages of 68%, 82% and 80%, USDA details.

In its outlook, USDA says the storm system currently affecting the Midwest will reach the Atlantic Seaboard by Friday. "Additional precipitation associated with the storm could reach 1 to 3 inches in the Northeast, and cool air will trail the system into the Midwest and East," USDA continues. Meanwhile, USDA says an early-season heat wave will develop on the High Plains by week’s end. "During the Memorial Day weekend, temperatures will approach or reach 100°F as far north as the central High Plains," USDA explains. Elsewhere, cool, showery weather will persist in the Northwest, while weekend thundershowers will dot the Plains, USDA adds. More substantial rain (possibly 1 to 3 inches) may develop during the weekend in the western Corn Belt, according to USDA.