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Another wet week ahead

04/25/2011 @ 8:10am

The entire Midwest saw rain at one time or another over the weekend, though clearly it was the Ohio Valley getting the worst of it as heavy amounts of rain fell there. Radar is estimating four-day rainfall totals in excess of three inches for far southern Ohio, the southern one-quarter of Indiana, northern and western Kentucky, the southern one-quarter of Illinois, and the southern third of Missouri. 

Within that area radar is estimating someplaces with rainfall totals in excess of six inches, and indeed I can confirm nearly 8.5 inches of rain since last Thursday morning at Cape Girardeau, MO (over seven of that in just the past 48 hours). Flood and flash-flood warnings covered all of the Ohio River Valley this morning and extended westward into northwestern Arkansas and parts of northeastern Oklahoma (areas that have also see 3-6+ inch rain totals over the past four days). It is going to get worse for a lot of the above-mentioned area before it gets any better. 

For today through a part of Thursday we will see additional two to four inch rains and locally six inches or more over far eastern Oklahoma, Arkansas, western Tennessee, far northern Mississippi, the southeastern half of Missouri, the southeastern two-thirds of Illinois, the western half of Kentucky, southern Michigan, and basically all of Indiana and Ohio. While we will see an end to the deluges of rain by Thursday, any sort of exceptionally dry and warm weather pattern for the Midwest is still not in the forecast. Rain will be seen again for the end of the week, and another system is slated for about May 4. Neither system looks capable of producing heavy rain, but it will not take much to keep soils in the southeastern half of the Corn Belt water-logged. 

The best hope for any fieldwork will be in western areas, but with widespread rain there the next 48 hours, rain chances again at the end of the week, and very cool conditions continuing (the first full week of May will be quite cool), progress there will be slow and a lot of farmers will probably choose to just wait for better weather to hopefully arrive. For this afternoon's corn planting progress number, I look for the national figure to be 10 percent done which would compare with 46 percent done last year and a five-year average of 23 percent. 

I think that it is quite likely that the national figure will be 18 percent or less for next Monday's report, which if realized would make this the third slowest corn planting season ever as of May 1 (going back to 1985, with only 1993 and 1995 being slower years).


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