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Weather extremes hang over planting season

04/20/2011 @ 9:13am

April is a month when you can really see some weather extremes, but what we saw yesterday was simply incredible. We set record low maximum temperatures yesterday in southeastern Iowa as places there did not see readings get out of the 30s and low 40s. However, as close by as St. Louis we were scoring record HIGHS yesterday as the high temperature there got to an incredible 88 degrees.

In other words, we had high temperatures differences yesterday of nearly 50 degrees over the span of only about 200 miles! It was this extreme temperature contrast that set off yet another major severe weather outbreak the past 24 hours in the southern/eastern Corn Belt through the northern Delta, with lots of reports of tornadoes, high winds, and large hail. Probably most notable about that severe weather was reports of winds in excess of 100 miles per hour at locations in both Illinois and Ohio.

While all of this was going on, we had significant snow in the northwestern Corn Belt and northern Plains. Better than three inches of snow was recorded at Mason City, Rochester, and La Crosse. The Bowman, North Dakota area has seen more than a foot of snow since the storm got started on Monday. With regards to the weather coming up for the Midwest, this still looks to be about as bad as it can get for the last third of April with regards to getting field work done. Not much rain will fall today, but rain will be breaking out tonight in Nebraska and there will be daily rainfall chances for all or parts of the region for tomorrow through Sunday.

During that period we will likely see additional heavy rains for large parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Rainfall amounts look big in the 6-10 day time frame as well, quite possibly even bigger than we see during the next five days; Missouri, Illinois, western Indiana, and southeastern Iowa look to be the target areas for those rains (though all of the Midwest will see above-normal totals).

Rain amounts may not be as big in the 11-15 day frame as what we see the next ten days (not exactly a bold statement, given how wet the next ten days will be) but it still looks like more rain will fall and even with the lighter totals we may still see above-normal amounts. It will remain very chilly for the next two weeks as well, especially for the western Corn Belt and points west and north. The best news I have in today's forecast is rain chances for the hard-red belt, with the eastern third of the main growing area have a daily rainfall threat for today through Sunday and an even bigger part of the main growing area in above-normal rainfall in the 6-10 day time frame.

Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved

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