A very cool pattern ahead for most of the Heartland

Cool weather in the Midwest will be reinforced early next week by a strong push of Canadian air. Heat across the High Plains will be relegated to the South, while a brief cool spell in the Northwest will be replaced by a weekend return to hot weather. During the next 5 days, 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals can be expected in parts of the northern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast, as well as the Pacific Northwest and Four Corners.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures east of the Rockies, except for hotter-than-normal conditions in the Deep South. Heat will also dominate the West. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in southern Texas and from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across the southern Plains, Four Corners States, and from the lower Great Lakes region to the Atlantic Seaboard.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook

Cooler weather returning to the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, cool weather has returned in the wake of a cold front’s passage. The front, which is moving into the Ohio Valley, is producing scattered showers and thunderstorms in the eastern Corn Belt. On July 20, topsoil moisture was rated less than 20% very short to short in all Midwestern States except Nebraska (32% very short to short) and Missouri (23%)—and even those two values are below average for this time of year.

On the Plains, clusters of thunderstorms dot the northern half of the region. Meanwhile, hot weather is overspreading the High Plains, where Wednesday’s high temperatures will approach 100° in many locations. Despite substantial rainfall since late May, subsoil moisture (on July 20) remains at least 60% very short to short in New Mexico (66%), Oklahoma (63%), and Texas (60%).

In the South, hot, humid weather in advance of a cold front is promoting a rapid crop development pace. Rain is still needed in parts of the Southeast to alleviate crop stress. On July 20, topsoil moisture was rated at least 40% very short to short in South Carolina (54%), Kentucky (48%), and Virginia (44%).

In the West, cooler air has spread into the Pacific Coast States, but hot conditions prevail farther inland. An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect in parts of the Desert Southwest, where Wednesday’s high temperatures will exceed 110°. Showers are aiding wildfire containment efforts in the Northwest, but an enhanced risk of new wildfire activity exists in the Great Basin and then northern Intermountain West.

Morning Low Temperature Plot

Weather Alerts

Forecast High Temperatures (National)

Much cooler pattern ahead east of the Rockies

During the remainder of the week, a pair of cold fronts will push southeastward across the Midwest and into the South and East. As a result, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 2 inches, with locally higher amounts, across the nation’s northern tier and from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast. Meanwhile, a few showers will return to the Southwest, but California will remain seasonably dry. Rapid temperature fluctuations can be expected with the cold frontal passages, but late-week heat will be most prominent across the High Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures east of the Rockies, except for warmer-than-normal weather in the Deep South. Hot weather will also dominate the West. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall across the northern Plains, Northwest, and southern Texas will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across much of the southern Plains and the eastern one-third of the U.S.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook

Heat, high humidity from the southern Plains to the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, cool weather is returning to the upper Midwest, following a brief period of beneficial warmth. Meanwhile, very warm weather continues across the southern and eastern Corn Belt in advance of a cold front, which is producing widely scattered showers. On July 20, corn reaching the Silking stage of development was 15 to 20 percentage points behind the 5-year average pace in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.

On the Plains, hot weather continues across the southern half of the region, where Tuesday’s temperatures will again approach, reach, or exceed 100°. However, scattered showers on the southern High Plains are helping to offset the effects of heat. Meanwhile, cooler air is overspreading the northern Plains.

In the South, warm, humid weather prevails in advance of an approaching cold front. Southeastern showers are benefiting summer crops and pastures; on July 20, only one-third to one-half of the pastures were rated in good to excellent condition in South Carolina (33%), Kentucky (43%), Virginia (45%), and North Carolina (46%).

In the West, scattered showers and cooler conditions are aiding wildfire containment efforts in Washington and Oregon. Still, the Carlton Complex in northern Washington—sparked by lightning on July 14—has charred more than 240,000 acres of timber and brush and is less than 20% contained. Elsewhere, cooler weather is easing irrigation demands in California, but hot, mostly dry weather prevails in the Four Corners States.

Morning Low Temperature Plot

Weather Alerts

Forecast High Temperatures (National)

Unseasonably cool weather set to return

A cold front will bring a return to showery weather across the nation’s heartland, starting with thunderstorms in the far upper Midwest on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday, showers will sweep across the remainder of the Midwest, while a new cold front will arrive in the Northwest. The front’s passage will lower temperatures that have recently climbed to above-normal levels in the Midwest and have briefly topped 100° on the Plains as far north as South Dakota. Toward week’s end, a new round of showers will overspread the northern Plains and upper Midwest, while the original cold front will settle across the South and East. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 2 inches, with locally higher amounts, in a broad area covering the North, Southeast, and Midwest. Elsewhere, generally dry weather will prevail from California to the central and southern High Plains, except for scattered Monsoon showers in the central and southern Rockies.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures across the Midwest and Northeast, while warmer-than-normal weather will cover the southern Plains, southern Florida, and the West. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall from the Pacific Coast to the Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across most of the eastern half of the U.S.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook

A brief spell of heat, humidity for the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, humid weather accompanies near- to above-normal temperatures. As a result, Heat Advisories are in effect Monday in the western Corn Belt, where temperatures will approach 95°. Isolated thunderstorms are confined to the far upper Midwest. Abundant soil moisture reserves are maintaining generally favorable conditions for reproductive corn and soybeans, despite the brief period of hot, humid weather.

On the Plains, hot, humid weather prevails in advance of a cold front. Showers are widely scattered and limited to northern areas. For the second day in a row, temperatures will reach or exceed 100° as far north as South Dakota. Heat Advisories are in effect for Monday across portions of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.

In the South, near- to above-normal temperatures are promoting rapid crop development. Across the Southeast, widespread showers are slowing fieldwork but boosting soil moisture for pastures and summer crops.

In the West, cooler weather is aiding wildfire containment efforts in Washington and Oregon. The destructive Carlton Complex in northern Washington has charred nearly 240,000 acres of vegetation and destroyed more than 150 homes. Cooler air is also overspreading the remainder of the West, accompanied by isolated showers.

Morning Low Temperature Plot

Weather Alerts

Forecast High Temperatures (National)

Warm; wet across the eastern Corn Belt

A disturbance currently over the Delta will drift eastward, reaching the Appalachians by early next week. Rainfall associated with the disturbance will be heaviest in the South, with 1 to 3 inches likely across the Gulf Coast and Southeast, while lighter showers fall farther north from the Tennessee Valley into eastern portions of the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes. Elsewhere, only light showers — totaling less than an inch — can be expected across the remainder of the country during the next 5 days, except possibly for some heavier rain late in the period across the north-central U.S. Cooler-than-normal conditions will persist through the weekend across the eastern half of the U.S., while hot weather returns to the Plains. Elsewhere, the Northwestern heat wave will end during the weekend as cooler air overspreads the Pacific Coast States and Great Basin.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall across southern Texas and from the Great Basin eastward to the central Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across much of the eastern half of the U.S.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook

Near-ideal weather across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather and near- to below-normal temperatures are promoting soft red winter wheat harvesting and maintaining nearly ideal conditions for reproductive summer crops. Corn and soybean developmental delays are mostly restricted to northern production areas.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend. A few showers linger, however, across the southeastern Plains. On July 13, prior to the southern Plains’ most recent drought-easing rainfall event, subsoil moisture was rated 63% very short to short in Texas and 67% in New Mexico and Oklahoma.

In the South, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms are crossing southern Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley. Dry weather prevails in the Southeast, where pockets of short-term dryness persist.

In the West, monsoon showers have temporarily waned across the Great Basin and the Four Corners States. Meanwhile, hot, dry conditions are maintaining stress on rain-fed crops in the Northwest, where several dozen wildfires are actively burning and the risk for additional fires remains elevated.

Morning Low Temperature Plot

Weather Alerts

Forecast High Temperatures (National)

Seasonally warm, moisture pattern for the Heartland

During the next couple of days, Southwestern moisture will spill across the southern Plains and interact with a cold front. As a result, storm-total rainfall could reach 2 to 5 inches from the southern Plains into the lower Mississippi Valley. Later, heavy showers will spread across the remainder of the Southeast. Farther east, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms will end by mid-week along the Atlantic Seaboard, where additional rainfall could total 1 to 3 inches. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather will persist in the Northwest, while cool, mostly dry weather will cover the Midwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions across parts of the interior Southeast. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in most areas from the Pacific Coast to the Plains will contrast with generally wetter-than-normal along and east of the Mississippi River.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook

Cool weather dominates the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails, except for some lingering showers in the Great Lakes region. Tuesday morning’s temperatures fell to near 50° across the northern Corn Belt, where concerns persist with regard to crop developmental delays. Nevertheless, U.S. soybeans—72% good to excellent on July 13—have been rated higher this late in the season only once in the last two decades: 73% good to excellent on August 8, 2004.

On the Plains, unusually cool weather covers the north-central U.S., but showers are overspreading parts of Montana. Tuesday morning’s low temperatures locally dipped below 40°F in the Dakotas. Farther south, rain is returning to the southern Plains, further aiding rangeland, pastures, and summer crops.

In the South, a band of showers and thunderstorms—in the vicinity of a cold front—stretches from the central Appalachians into eastern Texas. Additional showers are scattered across Florida. The rain is beneficial for pastures and summer crops. On July 13, less than half of the pastures were rated good to excellent—mostly due to short-term dryness—in Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas.

In the West, recent lightning strikes have sparked several wildfires in Oregon and neighboring areas. Hot, dry conditions persist in the Northwest. Meanwhile, monsoon shower activity has become more widespread in the Four Corners States, resulting in reduced irrigation requirements, revived rangelands, and drought relief.

Morning Low Temperature Plot

Weather Alerts

Forecast High Temperatures (National)