Another in the series of strong upper-level troughs is expected to move inland over the Pacific Northwest during the weekend period. This should lead to moderate to locally heavy rain and thunderstorms from the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Plains to the Canadian Prairies region during the weekend period and on into Monday. The trough that brought the rains to the Midwest region this week is seen weakening and moving into the eastern U.S. This leaves the Midwest region drier during the weekend but not very hot. Hot weather remains in the southern U.S. as a ridge centers off the southeast coast and over the Texas/New Mexico areas, and continues to generate hot conditions even as the strong troughs continue to move by to the north.
The outlook for next week shows the strong trough moving east across the Northern Plains before dropping southward over the Midwest region. This again causes a southward retreat to the two main ridge centers over the U.S. region. The U.S. model puts these ridge centers over or near Florida and over northern Mexico and western Texas by Wednesday of next week. This leads to cooler weather to the north and showers into the Midwest region through the middle of next week. This should mean mostly favorable conditions for developing and reproductive crops from the Canadian Prairies and the Northern Plains through the Midwest and to a lesser extent over the northern Delta region through the end of next week. No significant hot weather is expected within these locations to affect reproductive corn or soybeans during that time frame.
In the longer range, the U.S. model begins to show a northward push to the subtropical ridge beginning at or about next weekend and early in the following week. The 240-hour forecast that verifies Monday, July 18 has the ridge beginning to build northward over the Plains and Midwest regions while another strong trough moves just off the west coast of Canada. This is something that has been hinted at for a while but has yet to actually verify. A couple of times on Friday it has looked like the Midwest would begin to turn warmer and drier late in the following week and in both cases this has not been the case. The strong jet stream and the high latitude ridging has prevented this from occurring.
The extended range outlook from today's U.S. model covering the period Monday, July 18 through Saturday, July 23 continues the trend from the shorter-range period and builds the ridge northward over the central U.S. areas. If verified this would most likely mean a turn to drier, hotter weather through key growing areas of the U.S. However, so far the strong jet stream and strong troughs have won the battles. Each time the ridge has tried to build northward it has been knocked down by another strong trough moving in off the Pacific. I expect that this will be the case this time as well. We may see a period of hotter, drier weather in key growing areas but if recent history is any guide this would be followed by cooler conditions and scattered showers.
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