Ag Weather Forum

Rainy Pattern Continues Over Central U.S.

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
Uneven corn development in Montgomery County, Illinois, is typical of the impact of heavy rain and generally cool temperatures so far in the 2019 crop year. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

Corn and soybean planting remain well behind normal in the eastern Midwest. The eastern Midwest had only three to four days available for fieldwork during the past week. This has left corn and soybean planting on average over three to four weeks behind normal. The western Midwest saw four to five days suitable for fieldwork. This is the first time this spring in Iowa that five days were available for fieldwork. This has allowed corn planting to reach near completion in all states except South Dakota. This is two to three weeks behind normal. Soybean planting continues and is running more than two weeks behind normal.

We see no end in sight to this wet pattern. Near to above-normal rainfall is forecast throughout the Midwest and Plains. There is still some bias that the wettest weather will be over the southern and eastern Midwest and Southern Plains. However, the northwest Midwest and Northern Plains will also see an increase in rainfall during the next seven days. Planted acreage is very uncertain.

The most significant feature of this pattern is the continued blocking (high pressure) over northern North America. This feature has essentially been present since the latter part of winter. This allows for a stronger north-to-south temperature contrast across Canada and the U.S., with the result being a more-active southern branch of the jet stream. With the tendency for the jet stream to feature a trough over the central U.S. and a ridge in the east, this is a classic setup for wet weather in the nation's midsection.

I am repeating my comments from last week about the fall weather pattern:

The fall weather pattern will be very important this year due to the late plantings. An early freeze could have a major impact on what will be significant amounts of immature crops. I have noticed we seem to be in a pattern of displaced seasons. Each season seems to start later than what we would consider normal. If this pattern holds, it would mean an extended growing season in the Midwest. From a climatological perspective, the areas that are furthest behind in planting (eastern Midwest) are the last to receive their first freeze.

Spring wheat in the Northern Plains is essentially planted. Cool, unsettled weather the region is experiencing is favorable for crop development.

I continue to be surprised at the lack of deterioration of winter wheat crop ratings in the Southern Plains. This remains a wet pattern for the region. Maturing winter wheat is normally affected by wetness with increased disease pressure and lower crop quality as well as harvest delay.

Mike Palmerino can be reached at




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