Is Summer Coming?
For most of the nation east of the Rockies it has been a very cold spring so far, in fact as of this writing it will likely be a night of record cold across the eastern portions of the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and northern Appalachia. However, we are seeing some subtle signs that warmer temperatures are on the way for many areas that have suffered some very chilly spring temperatures.
In many areas of the northern and western Corn Belt, 4 inch soil temperatures have finally climbed above 50F. However, the percentage of the corn crop planted still remains far below average. In fact, as of May 5, the biggest 18 corn producing states reported only 12 percent of the corn crop in the ground compared to the average of 47 percent for the same date. Only 3 percent of the corn crop has emerged compared to the average of 15 percent.
It will be interesting to see of commodity prices continue to react to the delayed planting and possible loss of acreage due to the cold and wet spring in many areas of the Midwest.
There is some good news, however, at least in the short term as temperatures will rise across the west with warmer temperatures spreading east over the next week to 10 days.
As you can see in the graphic below, many areas in the west and nation’s mid section will temperatures at or above normal (pink, red) while cooler than normal temperatures will be found in the far east and southeast (light blue, blue).
With the warmer temperatures, however, will come the risk of heavy precipitation in the Midwest which could further planting delays in many areas.
However, while cool and wet will continue to be a concern in the Corn Belt, the opposite (warm and dry) will continue to be a concern for the southern Plains, southern Rockies and far west.
While it looks more wet and cool for portions of the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies and northern Plains, California, southern Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas continue to struggle with dryness.
There has been some scant precipitation in the above mentioned areas over the past week, but dryness remains severe in many of the southern areas. There has been a shift to the southwest of the severe drought conditions from the central plains to the southern Plains and southern Rockies.
We are holding out some hope for those southern areas having a chance for some precipitation in the time frame of May 20 to May 31.