Heat returning to the western Plains; fair, comfortable weather across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend.  Any showers are limited to the upper Great Lakes region, where Tuesday’s high temperatures will remain below 80°F.  In contrast, readings should top 90°F in parts of the Missouri Valley.  By June 26, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-quarter very short to short in all Midwestern States except North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, led by Indiana (58% very short to short) and Nebraska (57%).

On the Plains, beneficial showers in Texas are improving prospects for cotton and other summer crops.  On June 26, prior to the recent increase in shower activity, Texas led the U.S.—among major reporting states—in very poor to poor ratings for peanuts (21%), corn (38%), sorghum (42%), and cotton (46%).  Meanwhile, warm, dry weather throughout the northern and central Plains is promoting winter wheat maturation and harvesting, as well as summer crop development.

In the South, scattered showers and thunderstorms continue in the vicinity of a cold front, which is interacting with tropical moisture associated with a disturbance drifting westward into the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.  Southern showers are beneficial for pastures and summer crops, which have been stressed by recent heat and dryness.  On June 26, topsoil moisture was rated at least 40% very short to short in all Southern States except Florida and Virginia.

In the West, monsoon-related showers have temporarily withdrawn slightly, but continue across southern New Mexico.  Much of the remainder of the western U.S. is experiencing dry weather and above-normal temperatures.  Northwestern warmth favors winter wheat maturation and the growth of spring-sown crops, following earlier developmental delays.

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