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Corn Belt 'badly' needs rain

08/18/2011 @ 9:25am

The middle third of the Corn Belt, in an area running from the northwest to the southeast, is an area that remains badly in need of rainfall given that most of that region has seen very little rain so far this month...or longer.

 As I have noted here on several occasions, one has to go back to June 27 to find the last time that much of central Illinois and nearby areas has seen a good soaking rain, and during that period (now 52 days in length) I note that rainfall totals at Indianapolis, Champaign, Decatur, Springfield, and Quincy are all under 25 percent of normal. Late June and the first half of July found good rains falling in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, but over the last 30 days that area has also turned very dry with rainfall in that period under 20 percent of normal at Rochester, Mason City, Spencer, and Redwood Falls.

The best rainfall chances for the Midwest will be coming up for the 48 hour period from tonight through Saturday night. Disfavored areas for rainfall in that time frame will be Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, far northeastern Iowa, and far northern Illinois; I would look for under a half inch of rain to fall in that area. The rest of the Corn Belt has a chance for more than a half inch of rain in that period, and some places will get heavier totals.

My favored area for bigger rains would be southeastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, about the southwestern third of Iowa, and far northern Missouri where I think that locally very heavy rains may be seen tonight. The same area where I look for the biggest near-term rains has been the area already seeing the best rains as of late.

 Overall then, for the driest areas of the Midwest, the rains coming up for the rest of this week will be very welcomed, but are still not the 1-2+ inch general soaker that they really need. One can only wonder what crop stress the past two weeks would have been like if temperatures had not turned more normal starting around August 3. I still do not see temperatures as being a "story" in the Midwest coming up. Sunday should be a cool day, then warmer for the middle of next week before we cool again for the final three to four days of the month.

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

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