Pockets of dryness in the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather and near- to below-normal temperatures remain mostly favorable for corn and soybeans. However, pockets of short-term dryness are becoming a concern in some areas, mainly across the western and southern Corn Belt. On July 27, topsoil moisture was rated 41% very short to short in Nebraska and 39% very short to short in Missouri.

On the Plains, rain has mostly subsided in Oklahoma and northern Texas, following a recent deluge. Parts of central and southeastern Oklahoma, as well as northeastern Texas, received 2 to 6 inches of rain in the last 24-hours, causing some flash flooding. Meanwhile, heat is overspreading the northern High Plains, including Montana, promoting winter wheat harvesting and the maturation of spring-sown small grains.

In the South, scattered showers and thunderstorms are heaviest in the Arklatex region. Developing drought remains a concern in several areas of the Southeast. On July 27, for example, topsoil moisture was rated 51% very short to short in Kentucky, along with 44% in South Carolina, 33% in Virginia, and 32% in Georgia.

In the West, an active monsoon circulation continues to produce locally heavy showers in the southern Rockies and neighboring areas. In addition, isolated showers dot the Great Basin and Intermountain West. However, hot, dry weather continues to plague northern California and much of the Northwest, maintaining heavy irrigation demands and increasing stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops.

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Cool pattern continues across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, cool weather continues to benefit reproductive to filling corn and soybeans. However, patchy dryness has developed across the Midwest during July, following near-record to record-setting June wetness. Still, at least half of the pastures are rated in good to excellent condition in every Midwestern State, while only Nebraska—at 16%—has more than one-tenth of its pastures rated very poor to poor.

On the Plains, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms are soaking the southern half of the region. The rain is providing additional drought relief but—on the central High Plains—causing some flash flooding. Meanwhile, cool, dry weather prevails on the northern Plains, where patchy dryness has developed in recent weeks.

In the South, dry weather accompanies unusually cool conditions. Pockets of short-term dryness cover western Kentucky and stretch from parts of Alabama, Georgia, and northern Florida into the southern Mid-Atlantic States. On July 27, nearly half (45%) of South Carolina’s pastures were rated very poor to poor.

In the West, record-breaking heat stretches from northern California to the northern Rockies. In addition, more than a dozen large wildfires in the Pacific Coast States are in various stages of containment. Elsewhere, previously heavy showers are gradually subsiding across the Four Corners States and Intermountain West.

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Mostly favorable weather conditions across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, despite a recent drying trend, conditions remain mostly favorable for corn and soybeans. Specifically, many crops continue to thrive due to below-normal temperatures and adequate soil moisture.

In the South, heat lingers across the lower Southeast in advance of a cold front’s passage. Monday’s maximum temperatures will approach 100° from southern Alabama to the coastal plain of South Carolina. Meanwhile, cooler air is arriving across the interior Southeast, preceded by isolated showers and thunderstorms.

On the Plains, the interaction between a cold front and the monsoon circulation is resulting in heavy showers in an area centered on western Oklahoma and northern Texas. Heat lingers elsewhere in Texas. However, a return to cool weather on northern and central Plains is easing crop stress in the wake of the recent hot spell.

In the West, the National Weather Service has issued Flash Flood Watches for Monday across portions of the Great Basin, Desert Southwest, and Four Corners region due to ongoing heavy shower activity. In contrast, hot, dry weather has returned to the Northwest, where recovery efforts continue from a rash of wildfires.

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Heat wave continues for now on the central, southern Plains

Across the Corn Belt, a return to hot weather in the middle Missouri Valley contrasts with cool conditions farther east. Showers and thunderstorms in the vicinity of a warm front are spreading across the western Corn Belt. Conditions overall remain mostly favorable for corn and soybeans, despite some short-term drying.

On the Plains, cool air is arriving along the Canadian border, but hot weather covers the remainder of the region. Friday’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 100° in many locations from Nebraska southward, temporarily increasing stress on summer crops — especially those in the reproductive stage of development.

In the South, very warm, humid conditions linger along and near the Gulf Coast. Beneficial showers are gradually subsiding across the lower Southeast, while dry weather prevails farther north and west.

In the West, shower activity has diminished and is mostly confined to the Four Corners States. Meanwhile, temperatures are rebounding but remain at mostly below-normal levels in the Northwest. Elsewhere, gusty winds in the Great Basin and the Intermountain West remain a concern with respect to wildfire development.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Near-ideal weather continues across much of the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather, abundant soil moisture, and near- to below-normal temperatures remain nearly ideal for corn and soybeans. On July 6, nearly one-quarter (24%) of the U.S. soybeans had begun to bloom, while 15% of the corn was Silking. Dry weather also favors soft red winter wheat harvesting.

On the Plains, scattered showers and thunderstorms are maintaining generally favorable conditions for summer crops. However, overnight rainfall caused local flooding in south-central Kansas, while wet conditions continue to hamper the winter wheat harvest across portions of the central Plains.

In the South, heavy showers are developing in parts of southern Texas, while widely scattered showers dot the remainder of the region. Rain is especially beneficial in the southern Atlantic region, portions of which have trended dry in recent weeks.

In the West, hot, dry weather in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington contrasts with near- to below-normal temperatures across the southern half of the region. Widely scattered, monsoon-related showers continue to provide limited drought relief in the Great Basin and the Southwest.

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