USDA: Showers & Thunderstorms Return to the Western Corn Belt

June 4, 2013 03:33 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cool but dry weather is promoting late-spring planting across eastern portions of the region, including Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. "Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms are returning to the western Corn Belt, where fieldwork remains mostly at a standstill," USDA reports. By June 2, soybean planting was less than half complete in Illinois (49% planted), Iowa (44%), Wisconsin (43%) and Missouri (36%), USDA details.

In the West, USDA says expanding heat is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. "Any lingering cool air is confined to the northern Rockies and northern Intermountain West," USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA reports showers and thunderstorms are heaviest across storm-battered central and eastern Oklahoma. "Most fieldwork remains on hold across the northern Plains, where North Dakota’s spring wheat was only 64% planted by June 2," USDA explains. In contrast, hot, dry weather continues to plague drought-ravaged western Texas, USDA continues.

In the South, USDA says stormy, unsettled weather persists across southern Florida, where the early portion of the rainy season has been robust. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors late-spring planting efforts," USDA explains. "By June 2, cotton planting in the Delta ranged from 77% complete in Mississippi and Tennessee to 97% complete in Arkansas," according to USDA.

In its outlook, USDA says an evolving storm system over the nation’s mid-section will produce another round of unsettled weather across the Plains and Midwest during the next two days. "Additional rainfall associated with the storm could reach 1 to 2 inches, with locally higher amounts possible in eastern Kansas and central and eastern Oklahoma," USDA reports. During the second half of the week, USDA says the storm will shift into the East and begin to interact with tropical moisture that has been lurking across Florida. "Late-week rainfall could become heavy, especially in the central and northern Appalachians (2 to 4 inches of rain possible) and along the southern Atlantic Coast (2 to 6 inches)," USDA details. Elsewhere, USDA says hot, dry weather will prevail west of the Rockies, but the southern High Plains may experience some mid- to late-week drought relief. Toward week’s end, scattered showers and thunderstorms will return to the Plains and Midwest, according to USDA.

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