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Thunderstorms, Heat Dominate Five-Day Forecast

Say goodbye to the El Niño talk and hello to summer-like weather for the next week or so, including hot temperatures and thunderstorms.

Two separate cold fronts will be joining forces with the steamy air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico in the coming week meaning chances of thunderstorms for the Corn Belt, says Dale Mohler of AccuWeather. 

“I think it will be the kind of case that if you’re unlucky enough to get the one to two inches of rain, you may take a bit longer to dry out,” says Jim Angel, an Illinois climatologist, of conditions for those planting.

The good news is, the thunderstorms will be pretty short-lived and inconsistent. Dan Hicks of Freese-Notis Weather says areas west of the Mississippi will see the most of that spotty precipitation in the next five days. 

The first of the those cold fronts will be a factor Thursday through Saturday and the second will start another round of showers Wednesday through Thursday across the Corn Belt, according to Mohler. 

Looking Ahead to Next Week

The states of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan may get less precipitation during that time, Hicks says.

Starting next Thursday, a colder pattern will pester the Midwest bringing temperatures down to the upper 60s and 70s, instead of the high temperatures we’ll see in the coming seven days. With that cool weather will come widespread drier conditions, Mohler says.

“A lack of ground moisture or soil moisture seems to be very limited,” says Hicks of soil conditions in general. One area that is a little concerned is the upper Midwest and High Plains, specifically North Dakota, parts of Minnesota, and South Dakota.

“The vast majority of growers would be very excited to have some additional precipitation at this time,” says Joel Ransom, a North Dakota State University agronomist. “I think the dryness has put a damper on enthusiasm.”

According to Ransom, most of North Dakota’s crops are planted but need a drink. Crops that are growing strong could use some rain and anything that was planted late was most likely planted in pretty dry soil. The state just got an inch of rain and Mohler believes the region will get another one to 1.5 inches of rain in the coming week.

Here Comes La Niña

There’s a pretty good chance that La Niña will make an appearance in late summer or early fall, but it won’t necessarily have a huge effect on 2016 crops. It may mean hot and dry weather, but it may benefit farmers depending on when the weather pattern occurs. 

“In 2011, we had a late summer and early fall dry period that set some areas up for trouble in 2012,” Angel says. “But for corn, this La Niña probably won’t be a problem.” 

Angel is predicting a dryness trend for Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and southern Illinois as a result of the La Niña. The entire Corn Belt will likely see higher temperatures.

Late May Weather Outlook

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