Midwest Frost Depth Deepens, More Snow
Today, much cooler weather is pushing south across the northern and central Corn Belt states. This cooler weather will slow the warming soils.
Across much of northern Iowa, temperatures will generally cool through the day. Light rain mixing with and changing to snow is forecast over the western Corn Belt. Tonight, heavy snow could begin in southeast Iowa or northeast Missouri. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for tonight over north-central Illinois and northwest Indiana. As much as 6 to 8 inches of snow are possible overnight across north-central Illinois and northwest Indiana. Peoria, Illinois, could receive 3 to 5 inches of snow.
One weather model wants to bring heavy snow to portions of eastern Iowa as well. We would not be surprised to hear thunder over southern Illinois tonight or tomorrow morning as showers and thunderstorms develop along a cold front pushing across the southeastern Corn Belt states.
For the next five days, we look for about 0.40 inch over about 90% of the Corn Belt. Drier weather is forecast for the 6- to 10-day period and wet weather again for the 11- to 15-day period. Winter wheat conditions improved in Kansas and Texas.
For wheat, 37% is in good to excellent condition in Kansas, 22% in Indiana and Oklahoma, and 28% in Texas. The 11- to 15-day forecast period could bring some favorable moisture to this crop region. The 30-day temperature forecast is for normal to cooler-than-normal temperatures across the upper Midwest.
Frost depth grows
A few weeks ago, frost had penetrated deep in the soil in parts of Iowa and the western Corn Belt. In Plainfield, Iowa, soil temperature probes had indicated the frost was as deep as 4 feet and in Des Moines as much as 2.5 feet. In many areas across Iowa, the frozen soil depth is more than 2 feet and in few cases even as deep as 4 feet, including Castana and Newell. No doubt, the soils will take longer to warm up, but we did see some remarkable warming yesterday at the 4-inch level in parts of southwest Iowa as the 4-inch probe indicated soil temperatures near 40 degrees F.