Corn Belt Staying Dry Well Into July


If you see a neighbor doing a rain dance in the next couple weeks, join him or her. Rainfall will be hard to come by after a short-lived cold front brings scattered rain showers this weekend.

“There just isn’t a whole lot of rain in the forecast,” says Dale Mohler of Accuweather. “Topsoil is going to dry out again.”

It seems like the U.S. Drought Monitor gets more and more colorful each week, which isn’t a great thing for the Midwest and Corn Belt. Most of Missouri and Ohio are now considered abnormally dry and half of Illinois is getting the same status. Areas of moderate drought are showing up in Iowa and extending into Illinois and Missouri.

“I think we can still recover, if this is short-lived,” says Edwards. “We haven’t seen anything so devastating yet.”

The state of South Dakota is struggling with dryness. The western part of the state even has a region with severe drought status and it doesn’t sound like that will be improving anytime soon.

“I think we can still recover, if this is short-lived,” says Edwards. “We haven’t seen anything so devastating yet.”

With the exception of a bit of rain that could hit Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and maybe southwest Iowa mid-week next week, the Corn Belt is going to stay dry.


The good news? Temperatures are going to be in their normal range. The intense heat that has been plaguing other areas of the country should stay anchored about the Rockies and far from the Midwest.

“At least through the Fourth of July, the forecast doesn’t show any prolonged heat or long spells of heat over the Midwest,” Mohler says.

Cooler air will continue to flow from the northwest and keep Midwest temperatures cool while the western half of the U.S. is plagued with extreme heat. The past few weeks have brought higher than normal heat to some areas. The last 30 days have brought South Dakota and Nebraska temperatures two to six degrees above average.

“Things are going to go downhill even if the temperatures are not that high,” Mohler says. “But it could be a whole lot worse.”

Higher temperatures increase a plant’s demand for water, so having normal temperatures is a bit of silver lining to a dry situation.


Much of the Midwest has experienced stretches of undesirable weather this growing season, started feeling nervous, been relieved by a weather system, and then relived the entire anxious cycle again, which is no surprise to Mohler.

“This is pretty much how we thought things would go this summer,” says Mohler. “We’re not seeing a full three to four week period of hot and dry weather, but stretches of hotter or drier weather.”

Looking further into July, rainfall still isn’t going to be regular. Mohler could see random thunderstorms occurring, but no strong disturbances that would trigger widespread rains or cold fronts to trigger rain.

“July is more critical for corn and as we get into the pollination stage, that corn will really need a lot of water,” Edwards says. “Hopefully, we will get it.

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