Ag Weather Forum

Wet Early April Midwest Forecast

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
Rainfall forecasts through the final days of March into early April feature moderate to heavy amounts in much of the Midwest along with the Far West. (DTN graphic)

Significant flood potential focuses on the southern and eastern Midwest as we look to early April.

The first round of severe flooding took place in the northern and western Midwest due to the combination of snowmelt and heavy rains. The next round is expected to occur in the southern and eastern Midwest due to episodes of moderate to heavy rain falling on saturated soils. In a classic El Nino spring, the southern and eastern Midwest experiences the heaviest rainfall.

This southward shift of significant precipitation is good news for the northwest Midwest and Northern Plains. There is still significant snow that has to melt in the Red River Valley. However, if precipitation remains limited during the next few weeks, the snowmelt will be orderly. This will produce flooding on the Red River but not major flooding.

There is still no indication of when fieldwork can begin in the Midwest as the combination of cold air in Canada and an active southern branch of the jet stream over the U.S. maintains a very unsettled weather pattern.

Adequate to surplus soil moisture in the Southern Plains winter wheat belt is very favorable to the crop that is developing over southern areas and breaking dormancy in the north. This is reflected in the crop ratings with good-to-excellent conditions up 3 points from a week ago in Kansas, 6 points in Texas and Colorado and 14 points in Oklahoma. The upcoming weather pattern will continue to provide enough moisture to support the crop.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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