Little change; wet pattern to still cover the Corn Belt

Little change; wet pattern to still cover the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, chilly conditions linger across the Great Lakes region, accompanied by a few rain showers. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest. During the 3-week period ending April 14, there were fewer than 5 days suitable for fieldwork in Nebraska (4.7 days), Wisconsin (4.1 days), Illinois (3.7 days), Iowa (3.0 days), North Dakota (1.1 days), Minnesota (0.3 day), and South Dakota (0.2 day).

On the Plains, mild, mostly dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. Soils remain cool and wet across large sections of the northern Plains; South Dakota led the region with topsoil moisture rated 47% surplus on April 14. As a result, spring wheat planting had not begun by April 14 in the Dakotas; on average, 30% of South Dakota’s and 5% of North Dakota’s spring wheat acreage has been sown by that date.

In the South, Frost Advisories were in effect early Tuesday in portions of the southern Appalachians and environs. Dry weather prevails throughout the region, favoring a gradual return to fieldwork in the wake of recent rainfall. In recent days, fieldwork has fallen behind schedule in many areas; U.S. rice planting was 26% complete by April 14, versus the 5-year average of 35%.

In the West, a storm system is producing widespread rain and snow showers. Currently, some of the heaviest precipitation is falling across the Intermountain West. Most fieldwork remains behind schedule; for example, cotton planting in California was just 15% complete by April 14, compared to the 5-year average of 31%. Similarly, spring wheat planting in Washington was 17% complete on that date, versus the average of 46%.

A storm system currently traversing the West will cross the Plains at mid-week and reach the East by Friday. Eastern precipitation may linger through the weekend, especially from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast. Storm-total rainfall across the eastern half of the country will total 1 to 3 inches in many areas, particularly in the South and East. In addition, severe thunderstorms will be a threat across the South from April 17-19. 

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for warmer-than-normal weather across most of the nation, while below-normal temperatures will be limited to parts of the Northwest. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in California and the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across the remainder of the country, including the Rockies, Plains, and upper Midwest.


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