Worst drought-stricken areas of the U.S. remain thirsty while soils warm

Worsening drought in the northern Plains but improvements in southern Corn Belt.

Overall warmer-than-normal trends are expected to continue through the end of March 2021 in the Corn Belt. WeatherTrends360 forecasts the final week of March will be the fourth warmest in 30-plus years for the Corn Belt. There will be a burst of colder weather with widespread subfreezing temperatures, which may include a wayward snow shower in the Upper Midwest, but temperatures will moderate again as we approach the Easter holiday weekend. Predominantly warmer temperature trends will continue as we enter April, which will help to warm soils nicely as we move closer to the planting season.

In the precipitation department, expanding drought continues to be an issue in the northern Plains with even the eastern Corn Belt seeing some expansion in drought in the past week. Improvement in drought conditions was seen across the central Plains and southern Corn Belt. For the final week of March, wetter-than-normal weather will be reserved primarily to the eastern Corn Belt, while the western Corn Belt is drier than normal. Overall, this will be the driest end to March in six years for the Corn Belt as a whole according to data from WeatherTrends360.

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From Monday to Wednesday of this week (March 29 to March 31), low humidity and windy conditions will increase the wildfire threat across the western and central Corn Belt. The weather will likely remain dry across this region until at least the Easter weekend, which will be unwelcome news for areas of the northern Plains currently in moderate to extreme drought. 

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