There is a Memorial Day weekend tradition in Indiana: planting crops while listening to the Indy 500 race on the tractor radio. For much of Indiana, that is not going to happen this year. HAT chief meteorologist Ryan Martin says the next few days will be more wet than dry. “Wet as we start off the period with significant rains for the first two days of the holiday weekend,” he stated. “The second of two waves from this event moves through Sunday, and that will bring two-day rain totals at .5”-1.5” with coverage at 80%. Rains Sunday will not be lighter or have lower coverage than Saturday rains…this will just be an all-out rain event for most of the state.”
With planting in the eastern Corn Belt running behind average and replanting levels at historically high levels, what is needed is a stretch of dry days. Martin says later next week there does look to be a chance of several dry days in a row, “Mostly dry then for Wednesday through Friday. We would like to add Saturday as well, but we have 2 basic concerns about this period. First, models differ on timing, but all have at least a little bit of scattered shower action moving through the state in the midst of that dry stretch…whether its Wednesday Night-Thursday, or Thursday night into early Friday. Moisture is not much, but it gives us some pause. Then, a bigger concern is scattered showers that develop Friday night and hold into Saturday. Here is our take. In most other years, we would trend drier in this forecast. However, the atmosphere is wet. This year has been top 5 in terms of moisture for the April – May period. Our soils are soaked, and that along with everything else allows us to see rains develop a little easier.”
Martin’s advice for planting for the coming week, “You should be ready to go if you can – we end up getting missed by all the minor chances in the 4-day stretch from Wednesday through Saturday. But…do not count on completely dry period either…we think that is unlikely. It will be mostly dry, but not completely dry.”
As we roll into June with a significant amount of this year’s crop not planted or replanted, the extended forecast is not encouraging. “In the extended window, we have our next strong front working in later on the 4th, bringing rains through the 5th and 6th,” Martin said. “These rains can combine to bring 1”-2” to the state with coverage at 100%. But, behind that front, we should put together a nice dry stretch again, with no precipitation for the rest of the extended period, the 7th through the 10th, and likely the 11th, too.”
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