Locally heavy showers, t-storms march from the central Plains to the central, southern Corn Belt
Across the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are returning across some areas west of the Mississippi River, especially Missouri. The remainder of the Midwest is experiencing dry weather and near- or below-normal temperatures. Some of the region’s most acute lingering dryness exists across the upper Midwest, where Minnesota reported (on August 6) very poor to poor ratings for 51% of its pastures, along with 22% of the corn and 15% of the soybeans.
On the Plains, sweltering conditions persist across much of Texas, where daily-record high temperatures for August 8 included 109°F in San Angelo and 108°F in Abilene. In contrast, near- or below-normal temperatures cover the central and northern Plains, while thunderstorm activity is shifting eastward across Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Heading into late summer, moisture shortages are most serious across portions of the southern and northern Plains. On August 6, Texas led the region with topsoil moisture rated 88% very short to short, followed by Montana at 67%.
In the South, high temperatures and humidity levels from the western Gulf Coast region to the southern Atlantic Coast are resulting in dangerous conditions for humans and animals. August records were tied or broken on Tuesday with maxima of 102°F in Brunswick, Georgia, and 98°F in Naples, Florida. Farther inland, however, relatively cool conditions prevail in the mid-South and Tennessee Valley. Early Wednesday, thunderstorms are arriving across the Ozark Plateau.
In the West, mostly dry weather prevails, with any light showers limited to the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest. Rangeland and pastures are unusually lush for this time of year in some areas, including Wyoming (rated 87% good to excellent on August 6) and Colorado (67%). However, some Northwestern agricultural land is quite dry, with topsoil moisture rated 89% very short to short in Washington and 76% in Oregon, and corresponding impacts on small grains.