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Rain, warmth highlights Midwest weather

09/20/2010 @ 7:55am

DES MOINES, Iowa--The weekend brought a lot of weather extremes to the Nation's midsection, both in regards to temperatures and precipitation.

The southern third of Missouri has picked up no rain since Friday morning, but just to the north of there we saw heavy amounts of weekend rain (mainly for Saturday night through a part of yesterday morning) for northeastern Missouri through southwestern Iowa. That area received amounts of 3-5 inches and locally even heavier; several counties in northern Missouri were still under flood warnings early today. 

With regards to extremes in temperatures, it was a very hot weekend in the southern Plains and Delta with highs in the 90s (or even 100 degrees in a few spots) with records being tied or broken, but not far to the north we had highs just in the 50s for both Saturday and Sunday in the central Plains and western Corn Belt. On Saturday the high at Dodge City was 94...while at the same time the highest temperature that could be mustered at Goodland was just 57. Warmth is clearly going to be trumping the cold for this work-week period, as temperatures look exceptionally warm for today right through Friday. Temperatures averaging some 10-20 degrees above normal during that period should mean that we will see a lot of high temperature records fall by the wayside. 

Southeastern parts of the Corn Belt should at least be in the 80s all week long, but more likely 90s for the Ohio Valley (with Delta readings staying easily into the 90s to locally at 100 degrees). We will see temperatures "normalize" for next weekend over the Nation's midsection, but more big warming is forecast for next week so we are going to make it into the opening days of October without a frost being seen in the Corn Belt. 

Rainfall is going to be a big story for this work-week as well. There will likely not be a whole lot today, but by tomorrow morning we will see scattered thunderstorms in the northwestern Corn Belt and that will start a period where rain is falling in some part of the Corn Belt right through Friday. Western and northern areas are favored places for bigger rainfall totals with 1-2 inches likely west of a line from Springfield, Missouri to near Chicago, with heavier 2-4+ inch amounts forecast for northern Iowa, western Wisconsin, and a good part of Minnesota. This rain, combined with rain last week and over the weekend, will probably start to create fears of another 2009 harvest season (when October weather was some of the worst ever seen). However, I remain of the opinion that we are going to dry things out nicely in the Midwest next week and will start the month of October on a fairly dry note as well.

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