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Warm, mostly dry state to Eastern Corn Belt harvest


It has been an incredible second half of September; so far, with well above normal temperatures from late last week through this past weekend and even some record breaking temperatures in parts of the region.

This late summer/early fall heat wave has been a boon for the start of harvest, aiding dry down and bringing lagging crops to maturity. But, it is time to get back closer to normal. Changes will work into the region on Sept. 27 and should set the stage for a weather pattern closer to what we are used to.

We have a cold front working through the region here at midweek. This front looked much more impressive in the West during the past few days, and rain storms were significant in the Plains. But, the front just has run out of gas, at least with regard to moisture. So, outside of a some clouds and perhaps a few spits and sprinkles, we have nothing to look for in regards to rain.

What this front does offer is a shift in wind direction, and a cooler batch of air to signal its arrival. If you are looking for or needing rain, you will be disappointed in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Parts of Illinois may have fared just a bit better.

Behind the front, we see cooler temperatures, but still mostly normal to slightly above. Highs in the upper 60s to mid-70s are likely through Sept. 28-29 and into the weekend. We stay dry.

The only threat we need to monitor is an upper level disturbance moving over Michigan on Sept. 29 that may try and swing some scattered light shower action there and down into extreme northern tier counties of Indiana on Friday morning into midday. Better rain potential will be farther north in Michigan. The rest of the region sees nothing.

After the dry weekend, a stronger front develops early next week for late Oct. 2 into early Tuesday, Oct. 3. This front is the one we have been watching and mentioning for the Oct. 3-4 period going back in our forecasts almost 10 days or more now. It looks to be coming just a little quicker, but still has potential for a quarter inch to one-eighth of an inch of rain across nearly 80 percent of the region.

This front will move through fast; by midday Tuesday, it is already gone to the East. The front moves quick enough and the air/ground will be dry enough from our previous pattern that the moisture likely soaks in quickly and will lead to few actual delays behind the front.

The rest of the week features dry weather through Oct. 5 before changes come for Oct. 6. The map shows rain totals for the next seven days combined.

To finish out our 10-day forecast, we get just a little more active. We have two systems moving through from next Oct. 6 through Oct. 10. The first is a system with origins in the central plains that lifts up from the southwest into the area for Friday, Oct. 6. This system has rain of .1-.5 of an inch with coverage at around 60 percent. This system is much more significant over parts of Missouri, and may rain itself out by a good percentage before it actually can get in here.

The other system is much more impressive, and will be a sweeping front that brings rain potential of a quarter-inch to 1 inch for Oct. 9, and some of it may linger into Oct. 10. Coverage will be 90 percent of the state for that system, as it sits right now.

We will finish out Tuesday, Oct. 10 with drying as high pressure noses back into the region. Temperatures throughout our 10-day forecast period will be mostly normal to slightly above normal, and overnight lows actually can be above normal for early October. We have no concern about frost until after Oct. 22, and it may push more toward Oct. 26.


Ryan Martin is Chief Meteorologist for Hoosier Ag Today, a licensed Commodity Trader and the Farmer Origination Specialist for Louis Dreyfus Company’s Claypool Indiana Soybean Crush Plant. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World.