USDA: More Rain Expected for the Northern Plains and Midwest

May 3, 2012 03:12 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, widespread showers and thunderstorms are slowing a previously torrid planting pace, but providing beneficial moisture for emerging summer crops. Midwestern warmth is promoting rapid development of winter wheat and emerged corn, USDA explains. "In Illinois, 80% of the winter wheat had headed by April 29, compared to the five-year average of 6%," USDA elaborates.

In the West, USDA reports cool weather continues to slow crop emergence and development in California and the Northwest. "In addition, a return of showery weather is causing renewed fieldwork delays in the Northwest," USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA says cool weather lingers on Montana's High Plains, where this morning's temperatures fell below 32°F. "Elsewhere, warm, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork and rapid crop growth," USDA reports. One-quarter of the Kansas corn crop had emerged by April 29, compared to the five-year average of 8%, according to USDA.

In the South, a plume of tropical moisture is generating rain showers from western Florida into Tennessee, USDA explains. "Warm, dry weather covers the remainder of the region," USDA adds. Across the lower Southeast, however, drought is adversely affecting some pastures, maturing winter grains and recently planted summer crops, USDA explains.

USDA's outlook says during the next several days, a series of fast-moving disturbances will continue to generate widespread showers and thunderstorms across the northern and eastern U.S. "Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, across the northern Plains, Midwest, Ohio Valley and interior Southeast," USDA explains. In contrast, it reports mostly dry weather will prevail from California to the southern High Plains. "By week’s end, cool air will expand eastward from California and the Northwest to encompass much of the West," USDA says. Meanwhile, generally warm weather will continue through the weekend from the Plains to the East Coast, according to USDA.


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