Rains leave Corn Belt soggy
Heavy weekend rains over IA, MO and IL have created lakes and ponds in many fields. Between Moline and Chicago it looks like a lake stretches across the valley on either side of Interstate 88 at times.
Chicago reports this is the 2nd wettest period from Jan 1 to March 12th since 1887. Chicago's 10" inches of snow (received last week) has melted. Record keepers indicate that Chicago has received 8.25" of moisture during this period. In recent memory, Chicago received 7.98" during this period in 1997. The average amount of moisture for this period for Chicago is 4.49".
The warmer temperatures and recent rain across parts of eastern IA and western IL have helped moved the frost out of the ground which allowed some moisture to penetrate the dry soils. In central IA, it may be questionable yet how much moisture is reaching the subsoil, but we are at long last seeing water in rivers, streams and ditches that we have not seen since last spring.
Meanwhile there are still quite dry areas of soil particularly out over the plains of western KS. We still need substantial moisture to help fill up the soil bank across the western corn belt states. Daytime temperatures across the Midwest are likely to be cooler than normal the next few days, but we look for a warming trend toward the end of the week into the weekend especially across the southern corn belt states.
Another storm could bring beneficial moisture in the form of rain and snow over parts of KS, NE, SD, MN, IA, MO, IL, IN and OH by next Sunday into Monday.
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