(Reuters) - Thunderstorms that brought significant rainfall to the northern U.S. Midwest early this week, accompanied by warm temperatures, bolstered growth prospects for recently planted corn and soybean crops, an agricultural meteorologist said on Wednesday.
"There will be additional showers into the weekend in the central and southwest Midwest and heavier rains are expected in the east," said Joel Widenor, meteorologist for Commodity Weather Group.
Drier weather next week in the north will also help ensure further growth, and temperatures rising into the 80s to low 90s (degrees Fahrenheit) will provide valuable warmth to the fledgling crops, Widenor said.
About 30 percent of the Midwest received from 0.50 inch to 2.00 inches of rain with up to 9.00 inches and localized flooding over the past 24 hours, Widenor said. Half of the Midwest will receive another 0.50 inch to 2.00 inches with an isolated 4.50 inches falling over the next five days, he said.
John Dee, meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring, said on Wednesday that forecasts had not changed much from earlier in the week.
"Most rain now is in the eastern Midwest. Rains will finish up in the next couple of days, and by the weekend into early next week it will be drier," Dee said.
High temperatures this week will remain in the upper 80s F to low 90s F, but it will turn cooler by Friday. "By the weekend and into next week temperatures will be in the 70s F and 80s F," Dee said.
Dee said there were mixed signals about whether the Midwest would receive more rain late next week. One weather forecasting model indicated 0.30 to 0.80 inch of rain later next week and another indicated no rain.
"I think there is a reasonable chance for some rain," he said.
(Reporting by Sam Nelson; editing by Jim Marshall)