Meteorologist remains optimistic about getting enough rain


Meteorologist remains optimistic about getting enough rain

A meteorologist says the amount of rainfall has varied widely across the Midwest. 

Brownfield’s Greg Soulje says last weekend’s storms left most farmers wishing for more rain, but a few narrow bands got a lot of water. “Some spots through southern Wisconsin, parts of eastern Iowa, far northern Illinois, one to three (inches of rain) last week, and actually, there was a corridor not too far east of Cedar Rapids that had five to six.”

Yet nearby areas had less than a quarter of an inch, which Soulje says is a good example of how rains happen this time of the year.

Soulje says the latest drought monitor showed dry conditions in southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and eastern Iowa, and moderate drought in east-central Illinois and parts of western Indiana but he sees conditions favorable for the development of rain. “Not too extreme on the temperatures as it applies to the heart of the corn belt and each and every day in the next five to ten to twelve days, there ought to be some degree of rainfall that will vary each and every day but cumulatively speaking, help begin to improve dryness and localized drought.”

Soulje says it will remain in or close to triple-digit temperatures in the west, but he expects some rain to develop over the holiday weekend as the jet stream sags to the south. “Fronts, if you will, get hung up from about the Black Hills down to the Ohio (River). Warm and humid weather north of that boundary and the intense heat capped off atmosphere getting into the southern plains, so that helps to generate rainfall with disturbances kind of tracking along that. With daytime heating in the mix, that will make you a couple of thunderstorms.”

Soulje says conditions are just right for an active tropical storm season. “The Caribbean, the southwest Atlantic is warm. It’s just right as the atmospheric setup up aloft can generate these things, so yeah, a busy season at this time over the southeast, the Delta, and points kind of from the delta to the Ohio.”

But, he tells Brownfield that the active tropical storm season could bring much-needed moisture. “These systems do, in the nick of time, especially for late-planted beans get some moisture or tropical remnant system into the southeastern and southern corn belt that will be a great benefit late July and or into August.

With three unnamed tropical disturbances developing with a likelihood of carrying moisture northward, Soulje is confident the crops will benefit from upcoming weather conditions. “I have no concerns at least from our forecast vantage point about getting this crop to continue on, show good growth and development, and move easily into tasseling, pollination, reproductive stages, whatever it may be here in the weeks to come.”

Greg Soulje discusses upcoming weather with Brownfield’s Larry Lee 6/29/22