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More Rain to Hit Widespread Area of Corn Belt This Weekend
November inches closer, and harvest across the Corn Belt remains behind schedule. Portions of the region continue to receive unneeded spurts of rain as October progresses.
The USDA reports the corn harvest at 30% and the soybean harvest at 46%, both progressions lagging behind last year’s harvest and the five-year averages.
Fields across the Midwest need wind and sun to help push harvest along, as some areas have seen near-record rainfall this month. The National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa, recorded 7.25 inches of rain this month as of Tuesday, trailing the record of 7.29 inches set in 1941 with over a week left in October.
Some of the excess rain could be dried up this week from wind. This week kicked off with gustier conditions across the Midwest with the wind mainly targeting Iowa and its border states.
On Monday, the National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa, recorded the wind at an average of 19.4 mph with a high wind speed of 35 mph and a high gust speed of 44 mph. The National Weather Service defines a gust as a brief increase in wind speed that generally lasts less than 20 seconds.
The eastern side of the Corn Belt — Ohio, Indiana, and parts of Missouri and Illinois — saw an uptick in wind in the early part of this week, but the western side of the region saw a bulk of the higher wind speeds.
While the wind plays a role in drying out the fields and crops during the abnormally wet harvest, too much wind can deal damage, as well.
AccuWeather meteorologist Dale Mohler says wet fields and crops benefit from wind, but winds reaching 35 mph or higher can create more damage than help.
Mohler says the overnight between Monday and Tuesday presented the worst of the wind for the near future, and after the wind dies down on Tuesday evening, wind speeds shouldn’t climb to damaging speeds for the rest of the week.
“The wind should die off most places [on Tuesday night], and then [Wednesday’s] kind of a breezy day but not windy or gusty like [Tuesday] — probably 10 to 20 mph [on Wednesday],” Mohler says. “[Wednesday] will be a good drying day because the winds are at a good speed.”
Outside of the wind concerns early in the week, this week projects to avoid rain until the end of the week into the weekend. Wednesday appears to provide a sunny day in the southern portion of the Corn Belt with the northern part receiving a cloudier outlook, Mohler says.
Later in the week, the eastern side of the Corn Belt turns cloudy and could experience some rain on Friday. Meanwhile, the western portion of the region will stay dry on Thursday and Friday and receive some much-needed sunshine, according to Mohler.
Saturday starts out favorable in most of the Midwest, but Mohler says rain creeps into the southwest at night. Mohler expects the rain to affect most of the Midwest throughout Saturday night into Sunday with the areas eastward of Des Moines, Iowa, receiving more than the western side of the Corn Belt.
The month of October will likely close on a cold note, according to Mohler.
“I think next week (October 28 – November 3) is colder, and I think next week overall is a little bit drier, too,” Mohler says.
Mohler says Tuesday or Wednesday could bring a little bit of rain, but outside of those days, a dry period is in store for next week.
“I think most the week, especially the second half of the week, is chilly,” Mohler says. “Temperatures will be in the 40s, 50s by day and 20s at night, low 30s in the south [portion of the Midwest]. So generally trending toward a little drier and colder for next week.”
In the following week, November 4-10, temperatures and precipitation appear to remain on average across the Corn Belt, according to Mohler.