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Snow Isn’t Done Yet, Extensive Storms Bigger Concern

It’s April, but the snow isn’t done yet. Parts of the northwest Corn Belt are likely to see 3 to 6 inches of snow next week.

“It’s not something that is really common, but it does happen,” senior AccuWeather meteorologist Dale Mohler says. “I’d say it is maybe a once in every five- or 10-year event.”

The mild April temperatures will melt the snow within a few days, which could cause some minor flooding across the Midwest in the middle of next week, Mohler says.

Aside from the areas that will get hit with snow like northeast Nebraska, southeast South Dakota, and southern Minnesota, the southern areas are set to receive rainfall between .5 and 1.5 inches.

“The most important thing when the ground is saturated is how much liquid is coming with these storms?” Mohler says. “We’ve got a situation where things really haven’t dried out that much since the flooding. Any rain of any significance is going to cause runoff problems.”

The snow and colder weather that will come in the middle of next week shouldn’t be too problematic for warming up the topsoil before planting begins. Mohler says several days of sunshine should get the soil temperatures back to where they normally are for this time of year. He expects those days of sunshine to arrive by next weekend, allowing soil temperatures to be back to normal by the 13th or 14th of this month.

Parade of Storms

The moisture in the fields is what concerns Mohler. The rainfall from the storm next week will take three or four days to dry out, he says. But there is a bigger concern: By the time the fields dry out, an extensive storm will arrive around April 14 or 15 where “everybody in the Midwest is going to get at least some precipitation,” Mohler says.

Then a few days later, he says another widespread storm could arrive around April 17 or 18.

“There’s a whole succession of storms coming through the Midwest,” Mohler says. “That’s probably the biggest concern rather than how much it might snow or how cold it’s going to be. It’s just a parade of storms bringing moderate to heavy precipitation, mostly in the form of rain.”

May Outlook

The term “April showers” appears to be appropriate this month, although Mohler says the storms should slow down at the tail end. 

May, on the other hand, should provide a better outlook for farmers. 

“We’re expecting May to warm up a bit and have less rain than April, closer to normal precipitation or even slightly below normal,” Mohler says. “That should allow farmers to do some catch-up.”

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