Spring crops direly need a drink
For the Plains: Like the Mid-South and much of the Midwest, a continuation of warm, dry weather led to rapid deterioration in crop and pasture conditions. For the week ending May 20, the portion of Montana’s rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition jumped from 13 to 24%. During the 2-week period ending May 20, the portion of the Kansas winter wheat crop rated very poor to poor doubled from 11 to 22%. However, shower activity began to increase across Montana, Nebraska, and the Dakotas late in the drought monitoring period, helping to slow the expansion of dryness (D0) and moderate drought (D1). Farther south, warm, dry weather returned to the Oklahoma and Texas early in the period, following the previous week’s drought-easing rainfall. Still, the May 1-22 rainfall of 9.84 inches (364% of normal) marked San Antonio’s highest May total since 1993, when 12.47 inches fell.
For the Mid-South: During the same 7-day period, USDA reported that the portion of topsoil moisture rated very short to short skyrocketed from 41 to 66% in Arkansas and 23 to 57% in Missouri. As a result, moderate to severe drought (D1 to D2) expanded in an area centered on the northern Mississippi Delta and the lower Ohio Valley.
USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey reports, “The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 29 – June 2 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions from the northern Plains into the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast States.”
Hot, dry, very little rain if any, dry soil, across most of the Cornbelt and Great Plains, with little relief in sight. Not much more can be said.