Commodities Market Impact Weather

Moderate-to-Heavy Rain for Northern Plains and Midwest

Elaine Shein
By  Elaine Shein , Associate Managing Editor
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OMAHA (DTN) -- Moderate-to-heavy rain for the Northern Plains and Midwest in the seven-day outlook, no freeze yet indicated for U.S. primary crop areas, a frost or freeze threat late next week for the Canadian Prairies, and chances for rain for central Brazil, are the key weather items for the commodity trade's attention Thursday.


The DTN Ag Weather forecast again calls for above- to much-above-normal temperatures to favor corn and soybean development, which continue to run well behind normal in most areas. Episodes of scattered showers and thunderstorms will favor filling crops, except in areas of local flooding in the western Midwest. Some areas of the western Midwest, such as in eastern Nebraska, received 3-5 inches of rain -- with isolated areas even higher -- early Thursday morning, leading to some flood and flash-flood warnings issued in areas. In the seven-day outlook, periods of moderate-to-heavy rain in the Midwest could lead to possible crop damage. There are no signs of significant cold for at least the next 10 days.


In the Northern Plains, in the seven-day outlook, periods of moderate-to-heavy rain could lead to possible crop damage. Severe thunderstorms will be possible across the Dakotas on Friday. Rain may favor filling crops; however, wet weather is unfavorable for maturing crops and harvests. Above- to much-above-normal temperatures favor corn and soybean development, which is running well behind normal in most areas. There is no sign of damaging cold for at least the next 10 days, although it may trend closer to normal during the next few days and even a little below normal late in the 10-day period. Longer-range outlooks are becoming more uncertain as it looks to turn colder in Western Canada, which means at least some risk of colder conditions in the Northern Plains beyond day 10.


Tropical Depression Imelda, with 30 mile per hour (mph) winds, is inland 110 miles north of Houston, Texas and moving north-northwest at 5 mph.

Hurricane Humberto, with 125 mph winds (Category 3), is 250 miles northeast of Bermuda and moving northeast at 22 mph. This system has passed Bermuda and will now turn more north and then back to the east again, passing south of Newfoundland, Canada, and then into the central Atlantic, weakening the farther northeast it tracks.

Tropical storm Jerry, with 70 mph winds, is about 575 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and moving west-northwest at 16 mph. This system will past just northeast of the Caribbean islands Friday and should turn north before reaching the Bahamas. It may also threaten Bermuda eventually, but this is beyond five days and therefore highly subject to change.

Hurricane Lorena, with 75 mph winds, is about 70 miles southeast of Cabo Corrientes, Mexico, near the west coast of Mexico. The system is moving north-northwest at 8 mph. It is expected to turn more toward the west later today and then north-northwest again after that. This track is over an area very near Baja. It may weaken somewhat today while it is near the coast, but should strengthen tonight and tomorrow when south of Baja, weakening again when it interacts with Baja after that.


In the Central and Southern Plains, more rain would benefit winter wheat planting in some western areas. Wheat planting has begun in Colorado and Nebraska. Tropical moisture from Imelda will continue to cause heavy showers with embedded thunderstorms across southeast Texas and western Louisiana today and Friday before diminishing to isolated showers over the weekend. Severe flooding is already taking place in some parts of eastern Texas and western Louisiana. Scattered thunderstorms later in the five-day period and early in the six-to-10-day period for the Southern Plains will maintain more favorable conditions for wheat in eastern locations and possibly in some southern locations.


In the Canadian Prairies, temperatures averaging above to near normal during the next seven days will favor late development of canola. Wet weather in eastern areas is unfavorable for early maturing crops and harvesting. Colder weather late in the 10-day period will likely mean frost and may mean freeze conditions for some Alberta crop areas, possibly northwest Saskatchewan areas as well. This will bear watching. An additional rain threat late in the 10-day period means colder, wetter weather for the region. This is unfavorable for maturing crops and harvesting. The region may turn even colder during the 11-to-15-day period.


Brazil's crop areas continue with a dry-and-hot pattern for another six to seven days, delaying soybean planting. However, there is a higher chance for increased rain coverage in central crop areas late in the seven-day period, and during the eight-to-10-day period. There also appears to be an easing of high temperatures. This would be an improved pattern for planting.


Dryness remains of concern in west and central Europe for planting and early development of winter grains and oilseeds. Dryness is also of some concern in southeast Europe due to a recent stretch of below-normal rainfall. Western and central Europe are likely to receive needed rainfall within the next 10 days, improving prospects for winter crops.


In the Black Sea region, there are dryness concerns in western and northern Ukraine following several weeks of dry conditions. Soil moisture for planting and early development of winter grains continues to diminish. There is some chance that rain chances will improve later in the six-to-10-day period.


Monsoon rains are weakening over northwest India. This is a seasonal feature. Recent rains have been very favorable for crops, improving prospects for many summer crops in India. The rain also improved irrigation and soil moisture for planting winter wheat and rapeseed later this year. Rain is still possible into north-central and west-central India at this time.


The east-central Australia area likely remains drier than normal for another five days. There is a chance rainfall may improve in the area during the six-to-10-day period. If verified, it would be too late to improve a drought-affected winter wheat crop, but could improve conditions for planting and early development of sorghum and cotton. The wheat in Western Australia is likely in good shape at this time. This region may be trending drier with time. Variable conditions for wheat exist in southern South Australia, southern New South Wales and Victoria. Some wheat in these areas would be in good condition, some poor.

Elaine Shein can be reached at


Elaine Shein

Elaine Shein
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