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It was yet another very tough weekend for the winter wheat crop in the southern Plains.
Heat returned with a vengeance on Saturday, as highs that day reached 90 or higher for southern Kansas southward and more records were set (probably most notable was a 100 degree reading that day at Childress).
It was much cooler yesterday, but winds that were strong on Saturday stayed just as strong (or stronger) for Sunday. Amarillo had two straight hours yesterday with winds speeds sustained at over 40 miles per hour with wind gusts to over 55 miles per hours (with the resultant blowing dust reducing the visibility there to just three miles).
Weekend weather, when combined with what was seen earlier last week, should lead to deteriorating winter wheat crop ratings for especially Oklahoma and Texas for this afternoon's report from the USDA.
Heat like we saw over the weekend is not going to be seen again this week, but temperatures are still going to be running modestly above normal for the next few days with some places in the far south pushing 90 degrees by Wednesday.
The rainfall chances in this area for this work-week period look poor, with anything that falls being very light and likely nothing at all for southwestern Kansas southward. There is reason to be optimistic though about precipitation chances for the second-week of the two- week forecast. Details in how that plays out still need to be determined, but at least normal amounts of rain look possible in that time frame throughout the hard-red winter wheat belt.
If that rain does arrive, it will be up to the grain markets to determine if that rain is in time to really help winter wheat prospects, or is simply enough to moisten soils enough for farmers in the southern Plains to plant another crop in place of abandoned winter wheat acreage.
For Midwest corn planting operations, the forecast is certainly going to take a big turn for the worse late this week and beyond. Widespread rain will start to fall by no later than Thursday, and cold air working in with that storm will probably mean significant snow accumulations in parts of the northwestern Corn Belt for Friday and Saturday. Temperatures will be staying below normal for the 6-10 and 11-15 day time frames with more substantial amounts of moisture for those periods as well.
Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved