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Frost to hit the Corn Belt Friday night, forecaster says

Temperatures in the mid-20s expected with this cold snap.

INDIANOLA, Iowa -- A large part of the Corn Belt’s crops will get hit with a frost this weekend.

The question becomes whether the emerged corn and soybean plants will suffer any damage. Some experts believe the young soybean plants could get hurt more than the emerged corn.

A suppressed jet stream across the eastern U.S. is blocking a cold front that is dropping freezing temperatures this week straight out of the Arctic into the Upper Midwest.

The chilly air is headed straight down through the Hudson Bay.

It’s an ideal setup to get a cold snap from the Arctic Circle.

Dale Mohler, Accuweather meteorologist, says this weekend’s frost has been anticipated and is still expected.

“Saturday morning will be the coldest, but Sunday morning will be chilly, as well,” Mohler says. “Plus, another round of cold weather hits Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. But next week’s spell won’t be as cold as this Saturday.”

Freezing temperatures will be felt as far south as Springfield, Illinois, and Des Moines, Iowa, and then up to the Dakotas. 

In the eastern Corn Belt, freezing temperatures will hit Indianapolis, Indiana, over to Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cold Pockets

Central and northern Ohio are expected to see the coldest temperatures at 26°F. to 27°F., Mohler says. Also, mid-20s are expected in central Michigan.

Northeastern North Dakota farmers could see mid- to upper 20s, during this cold snap, too.

READ MORE: Winter wheat crop is in tough shape, growers say

Wet snow is expected to fall in Indiana on Friday.

“It’s really hard to believe the calendar is going to read May 8 with snow in Indiana. It should be wet and sloppy and melt quickly.”

Second Half of May

The Corn Belt will see more normal shower and thunderstorm activity in the second half of May, according to Mohler.

“That will help the crops that are already in the ground. And the biggest thing is that we warm the temperatures back up, during the second half of the month, warming up the soils.

“The danger of frost drops off, even in the northern Corn Belt, after May 12,” Mohler says. 

La Niña Possible

The waters in the equatorial Pacific are starting to cool off, meaning that the Midwest is headed toward a La Niña weather phenomenon pattern.

This means hot and dry conditions for the Southern Plains and the southern Corn Belt, Mohler says.

“We don’t see that La Niña pattern setting in until late summer. So, three fourths of the Corn Belt crops should be made by then,” Mohler says.

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