USDA: Severe Thunderstorms Halt Planting in Much of the Corn Belt

May 20, 2013 03:40 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, corn and soybean planting activities have been slowed or halted by showers and locally severe thunderstorms, except in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. "Several twisters were reported in Iowa on Sunday, ending a state-record stretch of tornado-free weather at 359 days (May 25, 2012 – May 18, 2013)," USDA elaborates. Currently, heavy rain is falling in several areas, including the middle Mississippi Valley and the far upper Midwest, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says warmth is returning to the Pacific Coast states and northern Rockies. "However, cool conditions prevail elsewhere, including the Intermountain West and the central and southern Rockies," USDA explains. Lingering showers are confined to the central Rockies and northern Intermountain West; dry weather elsewhere favors fieldwork, USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA reports heavy showers are maintaining the threat of flooding across the northern tier of the region, primarily in North Dakota and eastern Montana. "Elsewhere, cool air has spread as far south as the central High Plains, while hot weather persists in much of Texas," USDA continues. On Sunday, high temperatures climbed to 101°F in Texas locations such as San Angelo and Wichita Falls, USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA says scattered showers and thunderstorms are mostly confined to the southern Atlantic States. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork, including cotton, rice, and soybean planting," USDA reports.

In its outlook, USDA says a powerful, slow-moving storm currently centered over eastern South Dakota will drift eastward and gradually weaken, reaching the lower Great Lakes region by mid-week. "The storm’s remnant circulation will cross northern New England on Thursday," USDA reports. "Additional rainfall associated with the storm could reach 1 to 3 inches from North Dakota to Maine," USDA continues. Thunderstorms along the storm’s trailing cold front could be severe, especially later today across the southeastern Plains and the Mid-South, USDA explains. During the second half of the week, a new storm will begin to take shape across the Northwest, resulting in above-normal temperatures on the Plains, along with the threat of thunderstorms, according to USDA.


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