Very warm weather to expand across the Corn Belt

Very warm weather to expand across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, warmth favors a rapid pace of corn and soybean emergence and early-season growth. During the week ending May 20, more than one-third of the intended corn acreage was planted in South Dakota (advancing from 21 to 66% planted) and Minnesota (from 40 to 77%). Minnesota producers were also able to plant 37% of their soybeans, with overall progress advancing from 11 to 48% between May 13 and 20.

On the Plains, warm weather is promoting crop emergence and development. A few showers and thunderstorms are developing across the northern Plains, while overnight rain locally boosted topsoil moisture on the southern High Plains. On May 20, topsoil moisture was rated 63% very short to short in Texas.

In the South, locally heavy showers are occurring in a few areas, primarily east of the Mississippi River. During the week ending May 20, topsoil moisture rated very short to short plunged more than 50 percentage points in Georgia (from 76 to 18%) and South Carolina (from 73 to 20%).

In the West, an elevated risk of wildfires persists in portions of the Four Corners States, and Arizona continues to lead the nation in rangeland and pastures rated very poor to poor—90% on May 20. Meanwhile, very warm, dry weather prevails in the Pacific Northwest, while widely scattered showers dot the Intermountain West.

Numerous disturbances will maintain unsettled, showery conditions. Specifically, showers over the eastern U.S. will shift southward as the week progresses, becoming more concentrated over the Southeast. Meanwhile, scattered showers will affect areas from the interior Northwest into the upper Midwest. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches or more across the lower Southeast and 1 to 2 inches in the northern U.S. In contrast, dry weather should prevail through week’s end in southern California, the Desert Southwest, and the lower Rio Grande Valley. As the week progresses, heat will build across much of the country, starting in the North. Exceptions will include the lower Southeast, which will be cloudy and rainy, and California and the Great Basin, which will experience a weekend cool surge.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near-normal temperatures across the lower Southeast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall in much of the western and central U.S. should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, as well as the central High Plains and the interior Northwest.

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