Hot weather to follow spotty rains in U.S. Plains

Spotty rain showers improved soil moisture in some key growing areas of the parched U.S. Plains, but high temperatures could dry areas out again in the coming days, a private forecaster said Monday.

“It was good in some areas and not good in others,” said Drew Lerner, president and senior agricultural meteorologist of World Weather Inc. “My concerns is that we are going to be very warm and dry so the heat will take away a lot of this moisture.”

Temperatures in the Plains were expected to cool to ranges in the 60s to 70s F (15-27 C) by the middle of the week after starting in the 70s and 80s on Monday. By the weekend, the heat will build to the 80s and 90s (26-32 C) in areas of the southern Plains, Lerner forecast.

No more rain was in the forecast to help break the drought that has plagued the region through the summer.

The rain that fell during the past week in the Plains was scattered, leaving such areas as southeastern Kansas, the eastern Texas Panhandle and west-central Oklahoma dry.

Even in areas in which it did rain, more moisture was needed by early October to ensure the crop has enough heading into its winter dormancy period.

Some areas may need to be replanted if soil moisture does not improve by then, Lerner said. 

For the Midwest, rain was expected in the early part of the week but the weather would then turn dry, particularly west of the Mississippi River. That should give farmers a good window to harvest corn and soybeans.

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