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USDA weather recap: Rain provides much-needed moisture; cold temps slow crop emergenceUSDA weather recap: Rain provides much-needed moisture; cold temps slow crop emergence

May 22, 2015

12 Slides

Cool, wet weather in the Upper Midwest contrasted with warm conditions in the Ohio Valley. In the eastern Corn Belt, planting proceeded between occasional showers. In the upper Midwest, cool, rainy weather provided much-needed moisture, following a period of rapid planting, but slowed corn and soybean emergence and development. In fact, below-normal temperatures dominated areas from California to the Plains and Upper Midwest.

Early in the week, freezes were noted as far south as the central High Plains, possibly threatening the portion of the winter wheat that had begun to head. Farther east, however, temperatures above 90°F were commonly observed in the Southeast.

Nearly coast-to-coast storminess reduced drought’s footprint across the nation’s mid-section but triggered lowland flooding from the southeastern Plains and the western Gulf Coast region into the mid-South.

Weekly rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches or more were common from the upper Midwest to Texas. Totals in excess of 4 inches were widespread from southern Texas into the mid-South and southeastern Plains. Farther east, however, only light showers, if any, dampened the eastern one-third of the U.S. In the Northeast, where little rain has fallen during the spring, another mostly dry week raised concerns about a lack of moisture for pastures and summer crops.

Elsewhere, broadly unsettled weather prevailed in the West, with the heaviest precipitation falling across the northern Intermountain region. The Western showers boosted topsoil moisture, aided winter grains, and reduced irrigation requirements. Beneficial precipitation dampened parts of California, but failed to dent the Far West’s serious hydrological drought.

Get the full weather report from USDA.

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