Ag Weather Forum

Stormy Weather Pattern Continues

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
The seven-day precipitation outlook highlights the impact of the storms in keeping farmers out of the fields in the Midwest. (DTN graphic)

An intense storm taking a similar track to the major storm observed in March will affect the Plains and Midwest during the middle of this week.

By noon on Tuesday, blizzard warnings or winter storm watches have been issued for most of South Dakota, west and north Nebraska, as well as southwest and central Minnesota. Winter storm watches are indicated in a portion of northeast Colorado and northwest Kansas. High wind warnings or red flag warnings are up for the balance of the east Colorado and west Kansas areas, in west Oklahoma and west Texas. Eastern Wyoming also shows winter storm warnings or watches.

The big difference from March's storm track will be that we do not have any snow on the ground, which compounded the flooding in March due to rapid melting. We do expect to see 1-2 inches of rain in the areas of the western Midwest that flooded in March. And we are expecting moderate-to-heavy snow in the higher elevations of the west central plains, centered over western Nebraska. This situation, combined with strong winds, will put significant stress on livestock. Rainfall with this storm will be more scattered in nature in the eastern Midwest; however, some moderate-to-heavy amounts are still expected.

STORMY PATTERN

We are in a pattern of two major storms a week affecting the Midwest: One during the middle of the week and one over the weekend. The good news is that the weekend storm is expected to stay to the south of the northwest Midwest. The bad news is that it will affect the southern and eastern Midwest with moderate-to-heavy rains.

There is still no indication of when significant fieldwork can begin in the Midwest, as the combination of cold air in Canada and an active southern branch of the jet stream (El Nino) over the United States 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. Topsoil moisture in Kansas in currently 1% short. A year ago, it was 70% short. Good-to-excellent crop ratings in the major producing states are up by 3 to 7 percentage points from a week ago. Upcoming weather will continue to provide enough moisture to support the crop.

SOUTH AMERICA CONDITIONS

The weather pattern remains quite favorable for developing second-crop corn in central Brazil as episodes of scattered showers and thunderstorms continue. The crop has been able to take advantage of early planting and an active second half of the rainy season.

Drier weather in southern Brazil, from southern Parana to Rio Grande do Sul, helps improve conditions for harvesting soybeans.

Corn and soybeans in central Argentina are in the late-fill, maturing and early harvesting stages. Soil moisture is favorable for late-filling crops. Dry weather through the end of the week will favor maturing crops and the early harvest.

There may be some decrease in soil moisture ahead of winter wheat planting next month. Showers may occur this weekend in Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at Michael.palmerino@dtn.com

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