Missouri River drawdown begins
The Army Corps of Engineers is reportedly beginning to reduce the flow of the Missouri River reservoir, a move expected to worsen the low water conditions on the Mississippi River. This low water condition between Saint Louis, Missouri, and Cairo, Illinois, could potentially halt barge traffic at Saint Louis within weeks.
Recently the National Weather Service reported the river stage at St. Louis at -0.34 feet. At -5.0 feet some rocks in the river bottom channel can cause navigation hazards to barge traffic. Little significant moisture mostly in the form of rain is forecast the next few weeks for this area. Tonight some light rain may develop in extreme southern Illinois, but mostly in the Delta states with most rain amounts less than .10 inch. This rain will spread east and south tomorrow.
Some heavier rainfall amounts are forecast for the south central states. Next Saturday or Saturday night, some moisture (most likely rain) could fall over central Illinois and Indiana with some 0.25-inch amounts. Some additional light moisture may occur during the middle of the following week. Any runoff into the rivers feeding into the Mississippi would be welcome.
Chilly weather is forecast early this week with a welcome and significant warming trend for the latter part of the week and this next weekend. In the Corn Belt, expect highs in the 30s and 40s the next few days followed by 50s to 60s by this weekend. Across the winter wheat belt, temperatures will be in the 40s and 50s warming to 60s and 70s by the end of the week.
Morning lows could be in the teens and 20s early this week across the Corn Belt states and 20s and 30s across the wheat country. Low temperatures will be moderating as well later this week and this next weekend.
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