Crop Insurance Today Second Quarter 2020 - 7

cessive moisture across much of the U.S. (Figure
2). Of particular importance were March rainstorms that caused flooding in the western Corn
Belt. The substantial rainfall on frozen soils and
heavy snow cover exacerbated the problems. In
parts of the Missouri Valley, record river levels
flooded nearby communities and farmland.
In northern Nebraska, epic floodwaters combined with huge chunks of ice eventually resulted
in the collapse of the Spencer Dam on the Niobrara River. The deluge continued in late April,
which resulted in record flooding along the Mississippi River that lasted from March 16 to May
16 in the Burlington, Iowa, area. In late May, record flooding was recorded along the Arkansas
River in Oklahoma and Arkansas as Mississippi
River levels reached near record levels between
portions of southern Illinois and northern Missouri. The extensive flooding and excess moisture
caused record delays in planting for much of the
U.S. corn and soybean crops.
The torrential precipitation in the Plains and
Midwest was accompanied by cooler than normal spring temperatures with some northern
parts of the country receiving snow through
April (Figure 2). In contrast, most of the rest of
the country had normal spring temperatures
with above average temperatures confined to the
southern Atlantic States.
Summer 2019: With the tumultuous spring
planting season behind them, farmers faced a
summer that was characterized by lingering issues related to the winter and spring excess mois-

ture conditions. In June, heavy rainfall and above
average precipitation, mostly in parts of the Corn
Belt, the mid-South and Ohio Valley, contributed to continued delays in late season planting
and some flooding (Figure 3). At the same time,
the Western states and Pacific Northwest experienced warm dry condtions raising concerns of
a possible return of drought conditions. Meanwhile, average to cooler temperatures prevailed
across most of the country with the exception
of southern Texas, the Gulf Coast and southern
Atlantic Coast.
Heavy rainfall returned to parts of the nation in July, dumping excess moisture in the
northern Plains and upper Midwest. In the
south, Louisana and Arkansas were pummeled
by rains from Hurricane Barry, a Category
1 storm that made landfall July 13 but quickly weakened before dissipating on July 19. In
contrast elsewhere in the country, dry conditions prevailed with drought concerns in the
Southeast and seaonally dry weather occurring
in western states. During this period, temperatures remained close to normal with some hotter temperatures recorded later in the month in
the Northeast and Great Lakes regions.
The weather in August was higly variable
with normal to below normal temperatures
throughout the nothern Plains and the Midwest. At the same time much of the rest of the
nation was dealing with above average temperatures, ranging from the Pacific Coast through
the southern Plains and into the Southwest. In

areas with cooler weather, the pace of corn and
soybean crop development continued to be slow,
while areas experiencing heat and lack of timely
rainfall suffered from increased stress to pastures
and rangeland.
Fall 2019: Most of the country recorded
average to below average precipitation in the fall
of 2019, except for the Northern Plains and portions of the Midwest, Arizona, New Mexico, New
York, and Maine (Figure 4). At the same time, fall
temperatures were mixed with much-above-normal average recordings in the southern Atlantic
States and above-average from California across
the Southwest and upward to the southern Gulf
States and east of the Mississippi. Oklahoma and
states north experienced normal to below-normal fall temperatures. However, the nationwide
season average levels of temperature and precipitation masked high variable conditions over the
course of the season.
The fall began with hot and dry conditions in
September across most of the United States with
some exceptions including heavy rainfall across
the Northwest along with the northern and western Corn Belt. In early September, Hurricane
Dorian made landfall on Cape Hatteras, North
Carolina, and dumped heavy rains and strong
winds on some coastal areas before weakening
as it moved inland. In mid-September, Tropical
Storm Imelda made land fall near Freeport, Texas, and dumped one to three feet of rainfall in
isolated areas of southeast Texas.
The adverse weather conditions that plagued

Fall 2019 (Sept-Nov): Statewide Precipitation and Temperature Ranks 1895-2019

Fig. 4

Statewide Precipitation Ranks

Statewide Average Temperature Ranks

Period: 1895-2019

Period: 1895-2019

September-November 2019

September-November 2019

29
115
15

31

121

96
44
19

80
52

117

22

29
83

95

107
125
58
59
125
102
54
124
59
66
120
44
40
23
107 62
25
47
55
78
89
72
89
98
60

55

Much
Below
Average

Below
Average

Near
Average

17
18

38
89

68

Above
Average

48

27

29

78

58
67

66

70

101

Much
Above
Average

94

National Centers for
Environmental
Information
Thu Dec 5, 2019

Record
Wettest
(125)

61

59

95

40

47
52

93

57
96

55

30
48

36

104

82

113
104

86
97

114

119
100 112 120
121

Record
Coldest
(1)

Much
Below
Average

Below
Average

Near
Average

44
50
82
82
81
104
112
112

115

109

59

13

Record
Driest
(1)

35

89

125

Above
Average

Much
Above
Average

National Centers for
Environmental
Information
Thu Dec 5, 2019

Record
Warmest
(125)

Source: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps

CROPINSURANCE TODAY®

7


https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/us-maps

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