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Weather/markets: Rain chances on the rise

03/16/2011 @ 9:45am

The seven-day period from today through next Tuesday is looking to be exceptionally warm across most of the Nation's midsection. Temperatures will be averaging at least five to ten degrees above normal in that period but likely even warmer than that for the western Delta and especially the southern Plains.

 While it will be warmest in that period for today/tomorrow and Sunday through Tuesday for the Midwest, far southern parts of the hard-red winter wheat belt may stay warm throughout that entire period and thus may see temperatures throught Tuesday that average closer to 15 or even 20 degrees above normal.

I fully expect to see highs in the 90s for the Texas and Oklahoma panhandle areas for tomorrow, and northern Texas may still reach 90 on Friday. We will break this warm spell in the Midwest by next Tuesday, but none of that cold air ever really reaches the southern Plains and in fact that area may warm quite nicely again late next week.

Thus, while 6-10 day temperatures in northern parts of the Midwest may average below normal in the 6-10 day time frame, they may still average much-above normal in that same time frame for the bulk of the hard-red winter wheat belt. You can thus imagine the development of quite a temperature contrast over a relatively short distance for next week, and as you might expect that will mean good rain chances.

Sunday through Tuesday and possibly very late in the ten day period will be when the best rains will fall and they will probably be centered over the Corn Belt. Overall I remain pessimistic about the rain chances for the hard-red winter wheat belt over the next ten days, but there will be chances to consider. The first threat will be for Saturday, when there may be some isolated severe thunderstorms even in the driest areas. We may see a similar set-up for Sunday, though probably east and northeast of the driest areas.

The emphasis on this activity is on the word "isolated" though, as I do not see the set-up as being good enough to produce a widespread soaker. Rainfall should stay below normal in the southern Plains for the 6-10 day time frame.

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

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