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Ugly weather ahead for fieldwork

This still looks to be incredibly active/stormy weather pattern coming up for the next two weeks (at least) for much of the Nation's midsection, and when you combine that with temperatures that are going to average below normal in most areas...this is an ugly weather pattern for the second half of April with regards to getting any fieldwork done.

Our current storm system will continue to bring severe weather today to the eastern Delta and the Southeast, and continue to bring snow to the central and northern Plains (winter storm warnings are up for northern Nebraska through southeastern South Dakota). Additional melted precipitation amounts of 0.50-1.50" will cover most of the Corn Belt with even bigger amounts than that in the eastern Delta.

 Widespread rain will be breaking out again later Monday/Monday night throughout the Corn Belt and that will quickly spread southward into the Delta to produce another round of pretty big rains and severe weather. Lots more stormy weather is forecast for later next week through the first part of the following week as well in those same areas.

Given that this weather will be compared to excellent planting weather of a year ago, we will quickly see the national corn planting pace fall well behind a year ago and also a good distance behind the five-year average. For the week ending April 24, we were 46 percent done with corn planting last year and the five-year average for that date is 23 percent; this year we may be only about ten percent done on that date (i.e. barely above the 7 percent completion figure for that date that we saw in 2008).

This morning it appears that Nebraska, Missouri, far eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas have been the recipients of the best precipitation totals since yesterday morning with radar estimating that a lot of those areas had picked up over an inch. Through 1 AM Central Time I can confirm amounts of more than an inch for McAlester, Tulsa, Fort Smith, and McCook. In the case of McCook, a lot of that has fallen as snow, and some snow was still falling this morning.

 When combined with very strong winds, this has caused the National Weather Service to issue blizzard warnings for parts of northwestern Kansas and southwestern Nebraska (and Interstate 80 was closed west of North Platte due to these conditions). Intense thunderstorms were moving east of the Mississippi River in the Delta this morning with that area under a tornado watch.

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