An active, wide-ranging weather pattern covers the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, stormy weather continues across the far upper Midwest, leading to pockets of flash flooding.  On June 16, prior to the latest rainfall, topsoil moisture was rated 42% surplus in Minnesota, along with 40% in Wisconsin.  In contrast, heat accompanies short-term dryness in the southern and eastern Corn Belt, where Wednesday’s high temperatures should generally range from 90 to 95°F.  On June 16, Ohio reported topsoil moisture rated 47% very short to short.

On the Plains, a chilly rain continues across the northern tier of the region, mainly from Montana into northern Dakota.  Although cool weather is temporarily slowing crop development, the rain should greatly benefit spring-sown small grains entering the reproductive stage of development.  Meanwhile, very warm, dry weather across the southeastern half of the Plains is reducing topsoil moisture but hastening winter wheat maturation and harvesting.  By June 16, Oklahoma led the U.S. with 83% of its winter wheat acreage harvested, well ahead of the 5-year average of 37%.

In the South, widely scattered showers are spreading northward through the lower Mississippi Valley.  More organized rainfall, associated with a developing low-pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico, is lurking offshore.  Across much of the region, warm, humid weather favors a rapid pace of crop development; however, developing Southeastern dryness is stressing reproductive summer crops, such as corn.  On June 16, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in several states, including South Carolina (68%), North Carolina (63%), Virginia (55%), and Georgia (54%).

In the West, rain and snow showers linger across the northern Rockies and neighboring areas.  Cooler air has settled southward across the West, although heat persists from the Desert Southwest to the southern Rockies.  On June 16, Arizona led the U.S. in cotton squaring (51%) and setting bolls (15%).

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