Weather

Favorable weather for much of the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, a cool, mostly dry weather pattern continues. Filling summer crops are experiencing an absence of heat stress, although pockets of Midwestern drought remain a concern. Early Friday, showers and thunderstorms are encroaching on westernmost corn and soybean production areas, including the eastern Dakotas.

On the Plains, an ongoing showery weather pattern is causing minor fieldwork delays but generally benefiting rangeland, pastures, and immature summer crops, such as corn, cotton, and sorghum. On August 2, fifty-five percent of the U.S. sorghum crop was rated in good to excellent condition, up from 46% on July 12, just 3 weeks ago.

In the South, warm, humid, showery weather persists across the middle and southern Atlantic States. The remainder of the South continues to experience mostly dry weather and near- or below-normal temperatures. On August 2, roughly three-quarters of the U.S. rice (76%) and peanuts (73%) were rated in good to excellent condition.

In the West, the monsoon circulation remains suppressed, resulting in hot, mostly dry weather in the Four Corners States. Phoenix, Arizona, has reported 32 days with high temperatures reaching 110° or greater so far this year, just one day shy of the 2011 annual record of 33 days. Dry weather prevails throughout the remainder of the West, favoring fieldwork but maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed crops. According to the August 4 U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly two-thirds (63%) of the 11-state Western region is currently experiencing drought.

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