Weather

An active pattern across the Nation

Across the Corn Belt, widespread showers and thunderstorms across the upper Midwest are maintaining generally favorable soil moisture for summer crops. In addition, near- to below-normal temperatures throughout the Corn Belt are minimizing stress on earlier-planted corn and soybeans that are entering reproduction.

On the Plains, overnight showers brought negligible relief to drought-stricken rangeland, pastures, and crops in the Dakotas and eastern Montana. Currently, cool but mostly dry weather is returning to the northern Plains’ core drought areas. On June 25, Montana led the nation in topsoil moisture rated very short to short—69%.

In the South, lingering showers are primarily confined to areas along and near the Gulf Coast. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development. In the Delta States, more than half of the soybeans were blooming by June 25 in Louisiana (79%), Mississippi (61%), and Arkansas (60%)—with progress more than 20 percentage points ahead of the respective 5-year averages.

In the West, heat lingers in the southern Great Basin and the Four Corners States, but cooler air is overspreading the remainder of the region. More than three dozen Western wildfires, including the 50,000 acre Brian Head fire in southwestern Utah, are in various stages of containment. An elevated threat of new or rapidly expanding wildfires exists in the Southwest due to hot, dry, breezy conditions and possible lightning.

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