Wet, warm & humid across most of the Corn Belt
Across the Corn Belt, showers and a few thunderstorms are spreading across southern production areas, mainly from Missouri to Ohio. Showers are also occurring in the upper Great Lakes region. Following last week’s downpours, wetness and fieldwork delays continue to plague portions of the eastern Corn Belt. On May 24, topsoil moisture rated surplus ranged from 40 to 56% in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
On the Plains, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development. A few showers linger, however, across the southeastern Plains. Farther west, drought is maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, winter wheat, and spring-sown crops across portions of the central and southern High Plains. In Colorado, where 39% of the winter wheat was in very poor to poor condition on May 24, topsoil moisture was rated 61% very short to short.
In the South, recently formed Tropical Storm Bertha—located about 30 miles east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, early Wednesday morning—is producing locally heavy showers in the Carolinas. Meanwhile, a low-pressure system over the mid-South is sparking showers and slowing fieldwork across a broad area, including the Mississippi Delta. On May 24, topsoil moisture was rated more than 40% surplus in Arkansas (48%), South Carolina (46%), and Tennessee (41%).
In the West, dry weather accompanies building heat. Wednesday’s high temperatures will exceed 105º in parts of California’s Central Valley and could approach 120º in the hottest Southwestern deserts. Rivers across the northern Intermountain West are running swiftly due to melting of high-elevation snowpack. Meanwhile, drought remains a concern in parts of the Northwest, including Oregon, where 25% of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition on May 24.