Short-term drying over parts of the Corn Belt; temps vary across the Heartland


Short-term drying over parts of the Corn Belt; temps vary across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, unusually cool weather prevails, except along and southwest of a line from near the Nebraska-South Dakota border into the lower Ohio Valley.  Frost and Freeze Warnings and Advisories were in effect early Wednesday across much of the eastern half of the Corn Belt.  Later Wednesday, Midwestern high temperatures should range from near 40°F in portions of the upper Great Lakes region to 80°F or higher in southeastern Nebraska.  Generally, any corn and soybean planting activities are taking place in warmer, drier areas of the southwestern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, warm, dry weather prevails, except in the Dakotas.  Wednesday’s high temperatures should reach 80°F or higher as far north as southern Nebraska.  In contrast, temperatures will remain below 50°F in much of North Dakota.  Extensive lowland flooding continues in the Red River Valley, north of Fargo, North Dakota.  The Red River at Oslo, Minnesota, appears to be cresting, about 0.9 foot below the April 2009 high-water mark.  Meanwhile, very dry conditions across large sections of the central and southern Plains are maintaining substantial stress on rangeland, pastures, and winter grains.

In the South, dry weather accompanies a surge of cooler air.  Scattered frost was reported Wednesday morning in Kentucky and portions of neighboring states.  Wetter areas of the Mississippi Delta are starting to dry out, following recent heavy rainfall.  A few days ago, on April 24, Arkansas led the region with topsoil moisture rated 64% surplus.

In the West, light showers are confined to the Pacific Northwest, despite widespread cloudiness.  Cool weather prevails in the Northwest, while near- or above-normal temperatures cover the remainder of the region.  In parts of the Southwest, dry weather, low humidity levels, gusty winds, and drought-cured vegetation are contributing to a significantly elevated wildfire threat.  The region’s two largest active wildfires—the 60,000-acre Hermits Peak Fire and 55,000-acre Cooks Peak Fire—are burning in northeastern New Mexico.