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Forecast offers no break in southern plains drought

09/19/2011 @ 8:13am

Rainfall was pretty widespread across the center third of the Nation over the weekend, and no more was that the case than in eastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas where radar is estimating that rainfall amounts were commonly over an inch with heavy four-plus inch rains suggested in far southwestern Missouri.

The weekend rain finished up the rainfall threat for the hard-red winter wheat belt, and while basically all of that area got some rain I thought that totals in the end fell short of what the weather models suggested early last week. Places like Dalhart, Amarillo, Lubbock. Wichita Falls, Lawton, Enid, Medicine Lodge and Salina did fairly well with rain accumulations of more than 0.70" since the middle of last week, but on the other had you had places like Goodland, Garden City, Dodge City, Russell, Guymon, Gage, Hobart and Childress that gauged under a half inch of rain for that same period.

 Rainfall chances for the southern Plains look quite poor over the next two weeks (and probably longer than that) and thus historic drought will continue and problems with a lack of moisture for winter wheat planting will remain serious.

Rains over the weekend slowed harvesting efforts, and for especially areas east of Interstate 35 this is going to be a "damp" work-week period that is going to make harvesting a stop and go affair. Drier weather returns for the weekend and into next week though, so overall I think that we are going to see a fast start to harvesting with a lot of corn and soybeans getting cut for the final days of this month and into the early days of October. Temperatures are going to stay below normal this week, and one can't rule out a little frost in the upper Mississippi River Valley on Friday morning if skies were to clear out on Thursday night in that area.

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

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