Heat wave grips drought-stricken northern Plains

Across the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies a warming trend. In fact, Friday’s high temperatures should range from around 85° in the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region to near 100° in parts of the far upper Midwest. The hot weather is promoting a rapid pace of corn and soybean development, but further reducing topsoil moisture in areas of the northern Corn Belt already experiencing some dryness.

On the Plains, blazing heat across Montana and the Dakotas contrasts with pleasant temperatures across the southern half of the region. On June 3, daily-record high temperatures included 99° in Minot, North Dakota, and 100° in Glasgow, Montana. Friday’s high temperatures could exceed 100° in parts of eastern Montana and the Dakotas, bringing renewed stress to rangeland, pastures, winter wheat, and spring-sown small grains that benefited from late-May rainfall.

In the South, showers and thunderstorms are occurring in several areas, including the central Gulf Coast region and the middle Atlantic States. In the former region, which includes eastern Texas and southern Louisiana, the rain is perpetuating fieldwork delays and pockets of lowland flooding. In the Atlantic Coast States, showers are providing a favorable boost in topsoil moisture that has been sharply reduced in recent weeks.

In the West, drought continues to worsen amid an early-season hot spell and negligible rainfall. In many areas, irrigation demands are unusually heavy for this time of year, while reservoirs are not receiving typical volumes of replenishing runoff due to premature melting of mountain snowpack and absorption of any moisture by parched soils.

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