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The Caboose of Corn Belt Storms Arrives

One more storm before the calm.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Aside from one more storm this weekend, the wet, stormy weather pattern is starting to change across the Midwest, according to Dale Mohler, AccuWeather meteorologist.

For months, there has been a pattern of one storm after another in the Midwest.

“The storm this weekend may be the last one of the current pattern,” Mohler says. “It’s going to rain again, but this storm may be the caboose of the recent ‘train’ of storms that we have been experiencing in the Midwest this spring.”

Next week, there will be the same regularity of rain events, but each system won’t have much rain in it. In between events, temperatures will warm up.

“In fact, we could end up the month on a drier and warmer note. We could use the warm part because we are getting behind on growing degree day units for the corn crop,” Mohler says.

Mohler added, “If the temperatures don’t warm up anymore in July than they have been, it will be tough getting the crop to the finish line before the first frosts come in.”

Focus Turns to Growing vs. Planting Weather

The weather outlook for July is looking a little dicey.

“It certainly could warm up, but you don’t want too much for too long,” Mohler says. “The wet ground could turn into concrete-like hard condition.”

Yet, the first week of July will be warmer than normal, with readings in the 90s.

“The rainfall will be scattered. There will be some, but below normal for some areas of the Corn Belt. The upper western Corn Belt will see more normal precipitation. This pattern could last a week or two, with better rains later on in the month of July,” Mohler says.

June’s Wet Areas Already Dry?

Although it has been a very wet spring for much of the Corn Belt, there are areas that are already turning dry.

“For instance, in the first 18 days of June, the Des Moines, Iowa, airport has recorded 1 inch of rain vs. normal amounts of 3 inches. With rain events this weekend, those dry areas will catch up. But once the end of the month hits, the chances of widespread rains are a lot less,” he says.
 

River Levels

The good news is that the flooded and high-water river levels should drop, as the calendar turns to July, he says.

“The feeder rivers will be returning to normal in early July, helping the bigger rivers such as the Mississippi return to normal in mid-July,” Mohler says.

Watch Hurricane Season

It’s interesting to note, because of high water levels in the spring, that the current hurricane season, which lasts until October, is being watched closely.

It’s thought that if a hurricane would occur soon, places such as the Gulf of Mexico would take a huge hit, due to already high levels of water on the Lower Mississippi River.

Mohler says there may be good news to report.

“It’s a valid concern. A Katrina or Harvey-like hurricane or tropical storm would be devastating for the crops in the Delta. If there isn’t a hurricane in July, there is enough wind sheer that it makes it less likely that a hurricane will occur,” Mohler says.

He added, “As the season goes on, the target area for hurricanes is farther east such as Florida or the Southeastern states. The Gulf hurricane season is June and early July.”

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