Severe storms brewing in southwestern Corn Belt

Severe storms are expected to hit parts of the western and southern Corn Belt and northern Delta Region this week.

Brownfield meteorologist Greg Soulje says the systems could bring multiple inches of rain as they move from the northwest to southeast.

“From Bismarck-Mandan (ND) to Rapid City, SD over to say the Corn Palace/Sioux Empire region in South Dakota and then maybe Columbia and Jefferson City, MO all the way down out of the Missouri Boot Heel and on to the northern Delta Region, plus the southeastern plains of Oklahoma and eastern Kansas.”

He says the rain should bring relief to areas in severe and extreme drought, but there is a downside.

“As in severe, large hail and damaging winds. So, you get rain but it’s fast moving and comes at a price. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of setup that we’re looking for around these parts.”

Soulje says the systems will enter the western Corn Belt in the next two days and move toward the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys closer to the weekend. He says the largest scope and intensity will be centered around Missouri, where there is also potential for derechos and flash flooding.

Meanwhile, most of the northern Corn Belt can expect calmer weather this week.

Soulje says significant cooling is expected in the northern plains, northern Corn Belt and Great Lakes Region in the coming days.

“From that standpoint there is no real additional stress or strain and the rains will tend to be more garden variety, less severe, more scattered shower/thunderstorm oriented and less in terms of amounts and coverage.”

He says there should be some nominal drought relief in those areas and expects Thursday’s drought monitor to reflect that.

“So I expect those northern reaches of the Corn Belt to kind of hold their own right now with soil moisture, drought conditions and no real sign of any significant heat or humidity building there until we get into maybe late next weekend or the following.”

Soulje says farmers across the Corn Belt should expect a return to typical seasonal heat the third week of July.

Photo provided by Greg Soulje is the National Weather Service’s forecast for 5-day rainfall totals

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