More Showers Headed for the Plains and Upper Midwest

Posted on 05/16/2018 10:30 AM

In the Corn Belt, USDA reports warm, dry weather across the upper Midwest is helping producers make significant progress in areas where planting has been significantly delayed. “On May 13 in Minnesota, planting progress for both corn (40% complete) and soybeans (11% complete) was at least 25 percentage points behind the five-year averages,” USDA elaborates.

On the Plains, USDA says warmth is promoting crop emergence and growth. “Dry weather favors previously delayed planting efforts on the northern Plains, while beneficial showers dot the southern Plains,” USDA reports. On May 13, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in Texas (72%), Kansas (60%), and Oklahoma (59%), according to the department.  

In the West, USDA reports widely scattered showers are occurring across the northern half of the region. However, melting snow continues to induce flooding along several Northwestern rivers, especially those emanating from the northern Rockies, it adds. “Meanwhile, dry, breezy weather prevails in the drought-stricken Southwest; 100% of Arizona’s rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on May 13,” according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says warm, humid weather accompanies widespread showers. One exception is the western Gulf Coast region, where hot, dry weather prevails. “Although Southeastern showers are slowing fieldwork, the wetter conditions are easing concerns about short-term dryness that had developed in the southern Atlantic States,” it continues.

Looking ahead, USDA reports a non-tropical low-pressure system over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico will drift northward, maintaining the threat of heavy rain (locally 2 to 5 inches or more) from Florida into southern New England. “Flooding may occur in the northern Mid-Atlantic States, where soils have become locally saturated in recent days,” USDA adds. Meanwhile, unsettled, showery weather will also prevail in several other regions, including the Plains, Northwest, and upper Midwest, with 1- to 3-inch totals possible in a few locations, USDA details. “In contrast, dry weather will prevail in southern California, the Desert Southwest, and the western Gulf Coast region. Late in the week, cool air will overspread several regions, including the northern and central Plains, the upper Midwest, and the Northwest, USDA continues.

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