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USDA Weather recap: Intense Corn Belt showers and Hurricane Blanca remnantsUSDA Weather recap: Intense Corn Belt showers and Hurricane Blanca remnants

June 19, 2015

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Showers intensified across parts of the Corn Belt, although rainfall largely bypassed the Upper Midwest and the Ohio Valley. Weekly totals of 2 to 4 inches were common in a broad area centered on Illinois, resulting in pockets of lowland flooding. Some of the heavy rain extended into the Northeast.

The interaction between several disturbances and moisture associated with the remnants of eastern Pacific Hurricane Blanca contributed to a wet pattern in many areas of the country. In particular, out-of-season showers dotted the Great Basin and the Southwest. However, hot, dry weather persisted in the Northwest. In fact, record-setting heat boosted weekly temperatures as much as 10 to 15°F above normal in northern California and the interior Northwest. In contrast, near- to below-normal temperatures covered the Four Corners States.

Elsewhere, precipitation was generally light and scattered across the South. However, a few heavier showers were noted in the southern Appalachians and the central and eastern Gulf Coast States. In areas where little rain fell, building heat led to a gradual increase in stress on pastures and summer crops.

Farther east, showery weather returned to the central and southern Plains, following a brief interlude of favorably dry weather. Weekly totals in excess of 2 inches were noted in several locations, bringing renewed planting delays and winter wheat harvest disruptions. Showers also dotted the northern Plains, though amounts were mostly an inch or less.

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