Mercury soars to triple digits
Yesterday, the temperature reached 99 degrees F. in Des Moines, Iowa, the hottest temperature so far this year for this city. Temperatures were reported in the 90s across much of the western Corn Belt yesterday. Today temperatures could be even hotter with the potential for near-record highs across the western and central Corn Belt with highs near 100.
Tomorrow a weak cold front will begin to push south across the northern Corn Belt helping to lower the maximum temperatures a few degrees. This frontal boundary may provide the lifting mechanism for some scattered showers and thundershowers particularly over southern Minnesota and maybe eastern Iowa and western Illinois. The prospect of any significant widespread rain in the western Iowa, eastern Nebraska, and northern Missouri seems quite remote at this moment.
A stronger cold front is forecast by the European model to begin to move south across the western Corn Belt region late this weekend beginning in the west on Saturday and pushing south and east on Sunday. It could be significantly cooler on Labor Day across the Midwest with warmer weather to return during the week after Labor Day.
Most significant rain should be centered over the eastern Corn Belt in Indiana and Ohio with spotty showers elsewhere. Growing degree days are accumulating at about nearly 30 units per day with this heat over the western Corn Belt. Central Iowa has accumulated about 2,500 GDDs since May 1, and southern Minnesota about 1,900+.
According to the latest crop condition reports, the percentage of the corn crop in the denting stage is considerably behind normal by as much as 20% to 40% according to the five-year average. Iowa reports 9% of its corn to be dented; Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, 5%; and South Dakota at 18%. Aided by this heat, It is possible that by the second or third week in September, most corn will have reached the dent stage. After this stage, the threat of yield lost from an early frost would be considerably less.
Meanwhile, more than 80% of the soybeans are blooming across the Midwest in this heat. Heat and moisture stress will continue for this crop, particularly in the western Corn Belt for the rest of this week.
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