Weather

Beneficial rains return to much of the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather accompanies a warming trend across Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, where topsoil moisture shortages have begun to stress some corn and soybeans. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms are generally benefiting crops in the western and central Corn Belt, although localized wind damage is occurring in stronger storms.

On the Plains, widely scattered showers are occurring early Friday from South Dakota to Kansas. Due to net drying across the Plains in recent weeks, topsoil moisture rated very short to short (on June 21) ranged from 17% in South Dakota to 74% in Colorado. The reductions in topsoil moisture have favored winter wheat maturation and harvesting—but have resulted in varying degrees of stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops.

In the South, wet weather continues from the Texas coast into the lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, unusually hot weather is limited to the southern Atlantic region, mainly across Florida’s peninsula. Throughout the region, generally adequate soil moisture reserves favor summer crop development. Many crops are entering reproduction, with 26% of North Carolina’s corn silking on June 21.

In the West, very warm, mostly dry conditions persist. A Heat Advisory remains in effect in California’s Central Valley and environs. In parts of the Southwest, an elevated threat of wildfires exists due to breezy, dry conditions and the possibility of mainly afternoon and evening lightning strikes.

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