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Big chill still ahead for crops

09/13/2011 @ 9:50am

Lower prices overnight for the grain markets means that traders are focused on other factors (most like the September USDA crop report from yesterday) besides the weather, but don't think that means that the weather forecast has changed. With the National Weather Service this morning posting freeze watches for North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota, all but far southeastern Minnesota, and far northwestern Iowa, it is correct to assume that freezing temperatures are still in the forecast for later this week in parts of the Nation's midsection.

 If anything, I would consider most of the weather models today to be a little cooler than they showed yesterday. For tomorrow morning I would look for most locations in North Dakota to drop below the freezing mark with a number of spots getting below 30 degrees; only the far southeastern part of the state may escape with seeing temperatures below 32 tomorrow.

On Thursday morning, I would look for lows below 32 in eastern parts of the Dakotas, about the northern one-quarter of Iowa, far western Wisconsin, and much of Minnesota and there will be places in that area that get below the 30 degree mark. Most places will be above 32 on Friday morning, but a few spots in Wisconsin and Michigan will likely reach 32 or a little lower at that time. Just nine percent of the Minnesota soybean crop was dropping leaves as of this past Sunday (61 percent of the crop hasn't even started to turn color yet) and only ten percent of the corn crop mature, an end to the growing season on September 15 is not what Minnesota crops want to see.

 The bright spot in the forecast picture right now is still in the southern Plains, where the best rainfall chances in weeks are still in the forecast. Late tonight through Thursday looks wet in especially western areas, with eastern areas favored for rain for Sunday to Tuesday of next week.

Through it all, I would look for the bulk of the hard-red winter wheat belt to see rains of 0.75. to 1.75" over the next week with a few locally heavier totals.

Even the Midwest will see one of its best rainfall events in quite a while for early next week (though that might be accompanied by a lot of severe weather as well). None of this rain is a sign of an overall change to a wetter weather pattern though, with things looking to dry out again by around September 21 and beyond.

Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved

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