USDA: Showers Are Aiding Drought Recovery in the Corn Belt

October 18, 2012 03:25 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cooler weather prevails. "Lingering showers are confined to the Dakotas, where a chilly rain is falling," USDA reports. Drought continues to hamper winter wheat germination and establishment across the northwestern Plains, but the hard red wheat growing season has gotten off to a mostly favorable start farther south, according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says dry weather favors fieldwork, including the cotton harvest in Arizona and the rice harvest in California. "Warm weather is returning to the Northwest, where recent showers provided much-needed moisture for rain-fed winter grains," USDA explains.

In the Corn Belt, USDA says a storm system centered over the upper Great Lakes region is producing widespread showers. "Precipitation is especially beneficial across the upper Midwest, where soil moisture recharge is needed to help alleviate drought concerns," USDA points out. Across the eastern Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are slowing fieldwork but easing or eradicating any lingering drought, USDA continues.

In the South, showers and locally severe thunderstorms are sweeping through — and east of — the lower Mississippi Valley, according to USDA. "Meanwhile in the southern Atlantic states, warm, mostly dry weather favors summer crop harvesting and other fieldwork," USDA adds.

USDA's outlook says a storm system over the Midwest will drift northeastward, reaching eastern Canada over the weekend. "Additional rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches, with locally higher amounts, from the Mississippi Valley into the Northeast," USDA elaborates. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail through week's end from California to the central and southern Plains, USDA continues. However, storminess will increase across the Northwest, eventually spreading as far south as central California by early next week, USDA says. Markedly cooler weather will accompany the stormy conditions in the Pacific Coast States and the Northwest, USDA explains.


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