The weather patterns across the central US continue to be quite volitile and unpredictable as we close out the month of May.
The Midwest has struggled to plant corn and soybeans this spring due to episodes of cold and wet weather. Planting weather did improve during mid May allowing for producers to plant much of their corn crop. However over the Memorial Day weekend very heavy rains of up to 10 inches occured over parts of the northern and western Midwest raising concerns about getting any remaining corn in the ground and the status of crops that have been planted that are now being impacted by flooding. It appears that the wet weather paattern in much of the Midwest will continue at least into early June. So what appeared to be less concern over planting conditions and more empahsis on the favorable soil moisture conditions for planted crops has now become a planting issue once again.
The weather pattern that has produced these wet conditions in the Midwest started to take shape in mid February as the feature known as high latitude blocking returned to Canada. We have discussed this feature in earlier blogs. This has brought us to the point we are now with wet weather at the start of the spring in the southern and eastern Midwest and dry in the northwest Midwest evolving to the pattern of excessive wetness in the northwest Midwest, drier to to the south that we are currently experiencing.
Once these blocking patterns develop they can last a season or two which appears to be what is happening now with the spring pattern getting ready to extend into summer. However is it very difficult for the models to pick up much in advance the development or the demise of this blocking pattern. And if and when it does change it could be rapid and dramatic. At this point we we going to stick with the blocked pattern continuing into the summer which will mean adequate to surplus soil moisture for most of the Midwest. However we remain concernbed about the persistence of hot, dry weather in the southwest Plains. This can be a source region for drought in the Midwest. And if this blocking pattern were to break down this hot. dry weather could expand northward rapidly. We will have to keep a close eye on any signs of this happening.
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