Snowstorm Expected Thursday, Better Conditions Set to Follow

The Dakotas Will Be Affected Most By This Week's Weather


By Trevor Holbrook, Successful Farming - 10/8/2019


Portions of the Corn Belt planted late this spring, and the effects may be felt soon.


Among the top 18 corn-producing states, 58% of the corn is mature in the week ending October 6, according to the USDA Crop Progress Report. This year sits behind the five-year average (85%) and in 2018 (92%) at this point in the year.


The USDA reports 93% of the corn is in the dent stage, falling behind the five-year average of 99%.




North Dakota is no exception to the delayed corn maturity, coming in at 84% dented and 22% mature, according to the USDA. The average in the week ending October 6 is 98% dented and 75% mature.


In South Dakota, the USDA lists the corn slightly ahead of North Dakota with 91% dented and 36% mature (99% dented and 80% mature is the five-year average).


North Dakota faces potential snow later this week, beginning on Thursday.


“There’s going to be a major change in the [weather] pattern later this week,” says AccuWeather meteorologist Dale Mohler.


Mohler says the change in weather won’t be too negative for most of the Corn Belt, but the northwest portion will be affected the most.


“What’s going to happen is there’s going to be a period of rain — probably about a .5 inch to 1 inch in a lot of places — and then it’s going to turn a lot cooler,” Mohler says. “Most of the belt, it won’t be cool enough for a frost or freeze, but in the northwest corner it will, and in the far northwest — up in the eastern Dakotas — they’re going to get pounded by a very heavy, early-season snowstorm.”


Mohler projects the main area affected by the snow will be north-central South Dakota to northeast North Dakota.


That region could see between 12 and 24 inches of snow, according to Mohler.


While the cold could damage crops in the Dakotas, Mohler also sees reason for concern with the strong wind brought in with the snowy weather.


While the Dakotas battle the snow, the border states will also see temperatures dip and precipitation.


“It’s just not a good situation up in the northwest corner,” Mohler says. “Things won’t be quite as bad for most of the crop damage in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. It’ll be windy, a lot colder, rain, maybe a few snow showers, but I don’t there’s really much significant, if any, accumulation in most of those crop areas.”