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Crop Relief on the Horizon, Meteorologist Says

For now, crops in the northern Plains, Midwest, and Corn Belt will remain hot and dry for the most part. However, relief is on the way . . . eventually.

Northern Plains 

The U.S. Drought Monitor has a highlighter-yellow chunk that’s been gaining some tan highlights. Those colors, representing abnormally dry conditions (yellow) and moderate drought (tan), aren’t great indicators for thirsty crops in the state of North Dakota, northwest Minnesota, and the bulk of South Dakota.

According to senior Accuweather meteorologist Dale Mohler, the northern Plains will get some short-lived relief next week with as much of an inch to 1.5 inches hitting North Dakota and Montana between Monday and Wednesday. Unfortunately, South Dakota isn’t likely to catch much of that system, but another storm may relieve South Dakota farms later next week. 

“I think it’s only temporary improvement,” says Mohler. “It looks like it would turn drier and warmer again later on this month.”

What’s Coming for the Corn Belt 

Across the Corn Belt, high temperatures have been widespread, although not as bad in the eastern Belt states. Temperatures will be particularly high, upper 80s and low 90s, all weekend but should drop back down into the normal range by Tuesday. The eastern part of the Belt will get the hot temperatures and cool down a day later, so Ohio should expect heat to set in on Sunday and pass by Wednesday. 

When the following weekend rolls around, 2 inches of rain will hit the Corn Belt and more rainfall will be on the way. In Mohler’s 11- to 15-day forecast, which starts with the aforementioned storm, rains are more regular but scattered. “There’s no middle ground. You’ll either get significant rain or nothing at all,” he says.

July Predictions

It’s a little early for Mohler to be able to predict anything concrete, but if he had to make an estimate, he’d say that the first week of July has a good chance of being hotter than normal with below-average rainfall. 

“I think there might be little bit better rains in mid- to late-July, but from this far away that’s hard to pick out,” Mohler says. “Overall, I think July is probably a degree above normal and rainfall should be close to normal as a whole.”

If Mohler had to guess areas that he thought might be more dry or wet than a typical July, he’d say the Dakotas and western Minnesota will stay dry while Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan might be a little wetter than the rest of the Corn Belt. 

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