The Corn Belt, reeling from an exceptionally arid June, has finally caught a break as scattered rain showers return to the region, offering a glimmer of hope in the face of persistent drought conditions.
According to WeatherTrends360 data, June was the third driest month in over 30 years for the whole region and the driest since 2012, which brought alarming dryness to the American Corn Belt. States like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Michigan experienced one of their top three driest Junes in over three decades, with rainfall falling significantly below normal levels.
The month of June has proved challenging for Iowa and Minnesota for the past five years, as they have consistently experienced below-average rainfall. However, the western parts of the Corn Belt enjoyed relatively better conditions, witnessing above-normal rainfall from North Dakota to the Texas Panhandle.
While drought conditions expanded in certain areas, there was a glimmer of improvement for Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The National Drought Mitigation Center reported that drought-affected corn-growing areas increased from 34% at the end of May to 67% in early July, but there was a slight decrease to 67% by the end of June.
The Corn Belt experienced a variety of precipitation trends during the first week of July. While temperatures in Minnesota and Iowa remained drier than normal, sporadic storms brought much-needed relief by bringing 1-2 inches of rain from Pennsylvania to Illinois and into eastern South Dakota through Oklahoma. Overall, this week ranked as the 14th wettest in over 30 years for the Corn Belt, with precipitation close to average levels but significantly lower than the previous year.
Looking ahead, the forecast predicts a continuation of mixed rainfall showers during the upcoming week. While the majority of the Corn Belt can anticipate at least some precipitation, places to the north of the "I" states may get rainfall amounts of less than an inch. In contrast, the Western Corn Belt holds a higher chance of experiencing above-normal rainfall. Average temperatures are expected to trend cooler, with a few slightly warmer days mid-week. Source : wisconsinagconnection