July 2, 2008


US Corn Belt to face above-average heat and dry conditions


Above-average temperatures and dry conditions would likely characterize the US corn belt in the next three months, according to commercial weather forecaster WSI Corp.


Below-normal precipitation is expected throughout the US Corn Belt, except the eastern extremity of the region, throughout July, August, and September.


Temperatures in the region are also set to climb five to 10 degrees Fahrenheit above the 30-year normal by mid-July while averaging slightly above normal in August and September.


In the cotton-growing Southeast, below-average temperatures will prevail in the next three months, with drier weather hitting the region in July and wetter weather expected in August.


"The medium-range guidance is suggesting that some of the heat we're seeing out West is going to push eastward (into the US corn belt)," said Chris Radda, a meteorologist at WSI Corp. "By mid-July, there is a pretty good chance we'll see temperatures climb to five to 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) above normal."


The western corn belt will likely average slightly warmer temperatures than the eastern corn belt by mid-July, said Radda. This trend will continue into August and September.


"The warmest temperatures will be in the western corn belt, perhaps averaging one to two degrees (Fahrenheit) above normal," said Radda. "The eastern corn belt will likely average above normal but with smaller anomalies."


Although drier weather is expected throughout the Corn Belt, it is difficult to estimate exact precipitation totals, said Radda. Wet weather is only expected in July for the extreme eastern portion of the corn belt.


In the southeastern region of the US, below-average, but not extreme temperatures are expected throughout the next three months. 


In July, the region will likely be characterized by drier weather conditions. This is set to change in August when the region could see above-average precipitation, Radda said.

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