May 31 WAOB SummaryMay 31, 2012
All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Appreciable rain fell from the northern Pacific Coast to the upper Midwest, maintaining favorable conditions in the Northwest and improving prospects for winter wheat and spring-sown crops across the northern Plains and northwestern Corn Belt. Weekly rainfall ranged from 2 to 4 in., with locally higher amounts, in much of Minnesota and neighboring areas.
In contrast, short-term drought continued to rapidly expand and intensify from portions of the central and southeastern Plains into the Midsouth and lower Midwest. Weekly temperatures generally averaged 5° to 10° F above normal in the aforementioned regions, compounding the effects of topsoil moisture depletion on summer crops and immature winter wheat.
On the southern Plains, however, hot, dry weather promoted a rapid wheat harvest pace. Farther east, widespread rain eased or eradicated dryness in the Mid-Atlantic States, but hot, dry weather maintained stress on pastures and rain-fed summer crops in the lower Southeast. At week’s end, however, Tropical Storm Beryl formed about 300 miles east of Charleston, SC, and moved southwestward. Beryl made landfall just after midnight on Memorial Day, May 28, near Jacksonville Beach, FL, and more details on Beryl’s drought-easing rainfall will appear next week.
Elsewhere, cool, showery weather covered the Northwest, but hot, dry conditions persisted for much of the week in the Southwest. Crop development remained mostly behind the normal pace in the Northwest, while several wildfires affected southern California and the Four Corners States.