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Midwest soil moisture levels rising

04/18/2012 @ 8:34am

Rainfall in the Midwest late last week into the weekend greatly increased topsoil moisture in sections of the western and central Midwest where spring precipitation amounts had been quite light prior to the recent rains. These rains came at a critical time with some spring planting having occurred and much more planting coming up in the next few weeks.

Comparing topsoil moisture ratings in some of these states shows the beneficial effects of these rains. After each state is the latest combined percentage of topsoil moisture in the very short and short categories followed by the same combined percentage from early last week, prior to the rainfall. NE 28% -61%, SD 26% - 58%, MN 48% - 60%, IA 27% - 54%, IL 27% - 46%, MO 9% - 17%, KS 10% - 12%. The combined percentage of topsoil moisture rated very short and short dropped in all of these states between early last week and early this week, but as can be seen some areas could use additional rainfall.

In parts of the central and eastern Midwest topsoil moisture actually decreased during this period, with lighter rainfall amounts occurring the past week. Following are the same figures for these states, with combined percentage of topsoil moisture in the very short and short categories from early this week followed by the figures from early last week. WI 35% - 30%, IN 32% - 22%, KY 34% - 13%, MI 29% - 13%, OH 19% - 1%.

Some light rain fell in the western Midwest late last night into today, and some light showers will spread across the rest of the northern half of the Midwest in areas farther east today into tonight. A more significant system will affect the Midwest tonight into the first half of the weekend.

Through early next week the areas that will likely see the greatest rainfall will be sections of south-central into southeastern MN, central into eastern IA, northwestern IL, central into southern WI, and the central into northern parts of Lower MI.

Amounts of 0.50" or more are likely in these areas, with some amounts in the 1.00 to 2.00" range possible. Some this rainfall will occur in areas that still have some of the driest topsoils, based on the numbers above. Over the rest of the Midwest overall lighter amounts of rain are forecast into early next week.


Freese-Notis Weather/Weather Trades, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved

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