Colder second half of April will slow germination in the western and northern Corn Belt

Minor drought improvements as cold temperatures remain.

The past week brought some improvements to drought across portions of the Midwest and High Plains. In the third week of April, week-ending April 25, we’ll see some more precipitation in the northern Plains, but a large portion of the Corn Belt will turn dry. Widespread colder-than-normal temperatures will remain across much of the Central U.S. and may continue into the final days of April 2021.

Precipitation last week, with localized areas receiving more than 2 inches of rain, helped to bring improvements to the drought in the eastern Dakotas and into northwestern Iowa. However, moderate and extreme drought expanded in the central and western Dakotas.

Much-needed rain will fall across portions of the northern Plains in the third week of April, but a large portion of the Corn Belt will be very dry. According to WeatherTrends360, this will be the driest third week of April in 30-plus years for the Corn Belt. While the drier conditions will allow planting to continue unimpeded, parts of the region are still low on the soil moisture front.

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Drier weather will help to accelerate planting in the Corn Belt, but germination may be slow as we continue to contend with colder-than-normal conditions. In fact, snow showers cannot be ruled out at times in the northern or High Plains, and maybe even into the central Corn Belt. WeatherTrends360 forecasts that the third week of April will be the second coldest in more than years for the Corn Belt. The risk of frost and freeze may extend down into the central Plains at times as colder-than-normal temperatures will be widespread across the Central U.S.

Colder-than-normal conditions may continue into the final days of April for the Corn Belt. Thereafter, temperatures should begin to moderate as we transition into May. In fact, the burst of summer-like temperatures that occurred early in April across the northern Plains may very well end up being the warmest stretch of April 2021 in a month when temperatures usually increase as the month progresses.

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