USDA: Midweek Showers Possible for Western Corn Belt

08:55AM Aug 14, 2013

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails. "This morning’s temperatures dipped below 50°F in parts of the northern Corn Belt," USDA elaborates. Despite favorable temperatures, soil moisture shortages continue to stress corn and soybeans in some areas, including portions of Iowa and northern Missouri, USDA continues. "On Aug. 11, Iowa’s topsoil moisture was rated 59% very short to short," USDA details.

In the West, USDA says mostly dry weather accompanies building heat. "Northwestern heat remains favorable for summer crop maturation and winter wheat harvesting, but several large wildfires continue to burn," USDA explains. For example, the Pony Complex in southwestern Idaho has charred more than 140,000 acres of timber, brush, and grass, USDA continues.

On the Plains, USDA says widely scattered showers are providing generally beneficial moisture for rangeland, pastures, and summer crops. "On Aug. 11, topsoil moisture shortages remained most acute in Texas (76% very short to short), New Mexico (70%), and Colorado (58%)," USDA details. Much of the region is experiencing cool weather, although heat lingers across southern Texas and is overspreading Montana’s High Plains, according to USDA.

In the South, a cold front is producing showers and thunderstorms, USDA reports. Rain is beneficial from the Mississippi Delta westward but maintaining soggy conditions in parts of the Southeast, USDA explains. "On Aug. 11, topsoil moisture ranged from 56% very short to short in Louisiana to 34% surplus in Tennessee. Significant topsoil moisture surpluses were also noted in Alabama (33%), Florida (27%), Kentucky (27%), and North Carolina (27%)," USDA says.

In its outlook, USDA says heat will continue to build across the West and expand onto the northern Plains, but near- to below- normal temperatures will prevail through week’s end across the eastern half of the U.S. "Meanwhile, precipitation associated with a cold front will persist in the Southeast, resulting in five-day totals of 2 to 6 inches," USDA continues. Elsewhere, USDA says mid-week showers will affect the Plains and western Corn Belt, although most areas will receive less than an inch. "The remainder of the Midwest will stay dry through week’s end," USDA continues.