Weather Dampens Breakneck Planting Progress

May 29, 2020  | 2 min  | Ep4541

Planting progress is way ahead of last year’s pace, but does lag behind in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and parts of Tennessee.

Mother Nature proved again she’s in charge as heavy rain fell from Texas to Nebraska and east to the Atlantic.

Josh Buettner has our weather wrap.  

Fresh off the holiday weekend’s unofficial kickoff to grilling season, Mother Nature cooked parts of California, the Great Basin and southwest with temperatures 15 to 25 degrees above normal. 

Tornadoes raked parts of the Hawkeye State for two days where roof debris, ripped from an eastern Iowa barn, crashed onto a swine nursery, and caught fire – killing 300 hogs inside.

Across the corn-belt, excess rain put a damper on an above-average spring planting run.  Wet fields sidelined some heavy machinery as river levels rose.  Still, a spring harvest must wrap in states like North Dakota before new seeds can be sown as growers are running up against crop insurance deadlines.  Early snowstorms left last year’s crop in the field and a wet spring has hampered many efforts to reap the final bushels.

The National Weather Service warned of potential flash floods from the Mississippi Valley eastward, and severe thunderstorms across the Gulf.  In Florida, a historic commercial endeavor was scrubbed due to weather.

NASA Official (offscreen): "Dragon SpaceX, unfortunately we are not going to launch today.”

SpaceX, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s project to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station, was rescheduled for a weekend liftoff when meteorologists have predicted more optimal flight conditions.   According to NASA, a Wednesday launch with too much electricity in the atmosphere could have triggered lightning.

Bryan Gay/Valdosta, Georgia: "It's better to be safe. I mean, you know, we all remember Challenger - people my age. Nobody ever wants to see that go through that as a country. We all knew that this was a possibility, especially seeing the weather."

In South Florida, rain levels rivaled those last seen during Hurricane Irma in 2017.  And in South Carolina, Tropical Storm Bertha made landfall, flooding the streets of Charleston and other areas before being downgraded as the pattern moved inland.

Forecasters expect more rain and severe weather in the Northeast, some cooling out west and patchy rain and higher temps throughout the Midwest.

For Market to Market, I’m Josh Buettner.

Contact: josh@iowapbs.org

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