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Weather Starter: Week Starts Stormy, Ends Dry

Jeff Caldwell 06/30/2014 @ 7:50am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Another weekend of heavy rainfall and storms around the central U.S. and Canada has rivers swollen and cropland laden with excess water, which some farmers say is doing serious damage to crops in the ground. While the longer term outlook shows more rain down the road, there's hope for a drydown through the week leading up to Independence Day, forecasters say.

First, the bad news: There's a high likelihood that Monday could see storms -- some severe -- barreling through the Corn Belt, experts say.

"The Storm Prediction Center has had Iowa in a moderate risk for severe weather for two days in a row now. A few tornadoes were reported in Iowa on Sunday and more are expected today," according to the Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM) on Monday. "Heavy rainfall will be a problem again with expected over 2 inches for parts of eastern Iowa. A severe thunderstorm watch is already in effect this Monday morning with storms rolling across northern Iowa."



This map shows the likelihood for severe weather for Monday, June 30 (map courtesy NOAA/IEM).


"Iowa, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota are probably in for a deluge -- or shall we say the deluge will continue. Except this is going to cause some probably severe localized and possibly area-wide flooding with everything already saturated," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk veteran adviser jennys_mn. "The high [pressure] in the Pacific is still there; low-pressure systems attempting to come on shore are killed or being diverted to the north into Canada. The rainfall the Midwest is getting is because of the open Gulf, with winds down there still out of the southeast and flowing into the Midwest or, in the case of the low-pressure system currently in play, all the way to the Artic Circle."

The rain has been heavy from the southern Corn Belt stretching well north of the U.S.-Canada border. Marketing Talk veteran contributor Canuck5 says the weekend system did major damage to his fields. Furthermore, it's beginning to leave long-term damage that will require a major shift the other direction, moisture-wise, to get back to more average conditions.

"One hundred miles north of the Canada/U.S. border (160 miles north of Minot, North Dakota), 6 inches of rain in 24 hours. Devastation to crops, roads, and homes. This is unprecedented for this area," Canuck5 says. "We normally get 10 to 12 inches of rain per season, and not 50% of it in one day. We are already nearly 200% of normal yearly rain. Soils were completely saturated prior to this storm. We need a two-year drought to reduce surface water ponds and lakes and get them back within their normal boundaries."

Once this next batch of storms makes its way out of the central U.S. and Canada, the news is much better. Things should be drier through the week's end, though more rain could make its way into the region next week. Until then, temperatures will fluctuate a lot, with cooler temps later in the week. Though that will be good for the upcoming U.S. holiday, it will take a bite out of the drydown that happens.

"Drier weather after today will allow wetness concerns to ease. The drier pattern will be most beneficial in eastern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Iowa, and southern Minnesota," says MDA Weather Services senior ag meteorologist Don Keeney. "Temperatures will be warm in the southwestern Midwest and central Plains today, but should cool the rest of the week. Thus, heat threats on corn and soybeans will remain low. Rains are expected to build back into the northwestern Midwest in the six- to 10-day period, which will increase wetness concerns there once again."

   

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