Heat wave conditions expand across the central U.S.

Across the Corn Belt, isolated showers are interrupting an otherwise dry regime, continuing a Midwestern pattern that developed in mid-July. During the weekend, however, strong thunderstorms swept across Lower Michigan and environs, spawning several tornadoes and resulting in localized wind damage. Monday’s Midwestern high temperatures will remain mostly below 95°F, except for numerous readings ranging from 95 to 105°F in the drought-stricken Dakotas.

On the Plains, hot weather prevails. Monday’s high temperatures should exceed 100°F in parts of eastern Montana and the Dakotas, maintaining severe stress on drought-ravaged rangeland, pastures, and summer crops. Readings could also reach 100°F later Monday in parts of Oklahoma and Texas, although the southern Plains retain mostly abundant soil moisture reserves.

In the South, a weak low-pressure system east of Jacksonville, Florida, is contributing to showery weather in the southern Atlantic region. The remainder of the South is experiencing hot, humid weather, accompanied by widely scattered showers. Growing conditions throughout the region remain generally favorable for most pastures and summer crops.

In the West, monsoon-related showers have temporarily expanded westward across southern California. However, hot, mostly dry conditions persist in northern California and the Northwest, where lightning-sparked wildfires remain a threat. The nation’s largest active wildfire—southern Oregon’s 409,000-acre Bootleg Fire—has destroyed 184 structures. The Dixie Fire, just northeast of Paradise, California, has grown to nearly 193,000 acres.

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