The Midwest, still with saturated soils from record precipitation in 2019, needs a drier trend to allow producers to get fields ready for 2020 spring planting. The 10-day forecast is somewhat drier. But, ahead of that trend, a stormy weekend may leave the region with moderate-to-heavy rainfall to cause disruptions in fieldwork, even with a drier 10-day trend.
During the end of this final full week of March, notably March 27 and March 28, prospects for storm formation are widespread through the Midwest. The NOAA Storm Prediction Center Friday thunderstorm outlook paints widespread chances for storms to form over all but the northern extremity of the Midwest, with at least a marginal risk for severe storm formation from the Southern Plains eastward to the southern Midwest. Such storms can produce tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds, hail and heavy rain
Rainfall in the southern and eastern Midwest would add to precipitation totals that in a number of areas are above to much above average -- this after the very wet year 2019. Here are some examples through March 26, 2020. Precipitation is year-to-date:
-- Illinois: Springfield 10.61 inches, 4.91 inches above average; Peoria 7.28 inches, 1.52 inches above average; Decatur 8.92 inches, 3.13 inches above average.
-- Missouri: St. Louis 12.59 inches, 5.38 inches above average; Columbia 10.93 inches, 4.50 inches above average.
-- Indiana: Indianapolis 12.63 inches, 4.85 inches above average; Lafayette 8.76 inches, 3.06 inches above average; Evansville 15.83 inches, 6.20 inches above average.
-- Ohio: Cincinnati 12.60 inches, 3.67 inches above average; Dayton 11.04 inches, 3.50 inches above average; Toledo 7.45 inches, 1.39 inches above average.
The bottom line is the eastern and southern Midwest have not been drier in total during the first quarter of 2020. And, the late week and weekend forecasts show the prospect for wetter conditions to get the second quarter of the year underway as well.
Bryce Anderson can be reached at email@example.com
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