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Prepare for Frost and Precipitation
Those who haven’t finished planting may not be in the best spot right now. Cool temperatures are coming and above-normal rainfall is here to stay — at least until the end of next week.
Beginning Friday and extending into early next week, farmers in the northern Midwest — specifically in southern Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, northern Iowa, and the southern Great Lakes region — will see temperatures in the low 30s. The northern part of the U.S.— North Dakota, northern Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin — will see temperatures ranging in a dangerously low range of the mid- to upper-20. Both regions should be on alert for frost.
“There won’t be a whole lot of planting going on this weekend with the saturation of ground and cooler temperatures,” says Dale Mohler of AccuWeather. “It’s going to be cold enough that soil temperatures will drop a bit.”
“There’s no indication of a long, dry spell in the Midwest,” says Dan Hicks of Freese-Notis Weather. “There probably will be areas that continue to trail behind the five-year average planting pace.”
Rain will hit the Corn Belt from Peoria, Illinois, and westward on Monday and Tuesday. Central Illinois and eastward should see rain on Tuesday and Wednesday. This precipitation will likely cause planting delays.
Around the Great Lakes, temperatures will be low enough to produce snowflakes or ice pellets, according to Mohler.
The Good News
A range of high pressure will move over the Midwest late next week effectively rerouting precipitation around the Midwest. This protection from storms will create drying conditions and warmer temperatures.
“You can sort of see the light at the end of the tunnel now,” Mohler says. “Farmers will be able to catch up on some growth starting late next week, however, the following week will be more likely.”
The week of May 22 is looking very warm with widespread temperatures in the 80s. As of now, the only rain risk for that week would be nonthreatening showers in the western third of the Corn Belt where rain may be welcomed, Mohler says.
Summer Forecast Getting More Positive
Hicks is still predicting summer temperatures will be 1°F. to 3°F. above normal for June, July, and August. These increased temperatures will be caused by a weak La Niña developing after El Niño subsides.
Mohler, on the other hand, has a less severe forecast in mind for summer. His latest long-term weather models are showing temperatures only 1°F. or 1.5°F. above average for June, July, and August.
“It’s looking a little less threatening, but we’re not out of the woods,” Mohler says.