During the first few days of May, heavy precipitation was scarce and mostly limited to the upper Great Lakes region and the Northeast. However, portions of the upper Great Lakes States received heavy snow, while some Northeastern locations received rainfall totaling at least 2 to 4 inches April 30-May 4, according to the May 9 USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.
As April ended, a snow melt-induced crest on the Mississippi River was moving along the Iowa-Illinois border. A top-three crest was observed on April 29 in Iowa locations such as Dubuque (7.03 feet above flood stage) and Bellevue (4.78 feet above flood stage). By the time the water level peaked (6.06 feet above flood stage) in Fulton, Iillinois on April 30, it was a top-four crest. As runoff moved into drier areas of the Midwest, a top-seven crest was observed in Rock Island, Illinois, where the Mississippi River climbed 6.51 feet above flood stage on May 1.
Generally cool conditions covered much of the eastern one-third of the U.S., as well as California and environs, however, Kansas City, Missouri, posted a record high for May 6 of 91°F.
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Showers provided timely moisture for winter grain germination in many major production areas of Argentina. Rainfall totaled 10 to 50 mm — locally approaching 100 mm — over a large area centered in the northeast and extending as far south and west as Cordoba and northern Buenos Aires. Somewhat lighter rain maintained generally favorable planting prospects in key farming areas of southern Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, seasonably drier conditions prevailed in La Pampa and the far northwest.
Weekly average temperatures were generally within 1°C of normal, although a few areas averaged as much as 2°C below normal.
According to the government of Argentina, corn was 28% harvested as of May 4 vs. 38% last year, while soybeans were 46% (62% last year).
Heavy showers brought much-needed relief from dryness to Brazil’s southern-most farming areas. Rainfall totaled 25 to well over 100 mm in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and southwestern sections of both Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul. Drier conditions prevailed elsewhere in the south. According to the government of Rio Grande do Sul, soybeans and corn were 80 and 84% harvested, respectively, with most of the remaining crops maturing and not likely to benefit from the rain. In Paraná, soybeans and first-crop corn were 99 and 90% harvested, respectively, as of May 1.
Seasonable dryness prevailed farther north, with the highest concentration of significant rainfall concentrated over northern Tocantins and neighboring locations in Maranhão and Piauí. Elsewhere, including primary corn and cotton areas in Mato Grosso and western Bahia, showers were generally widely scattered and light.