Much cooler across the Heartland, more rain ahead for the central Plains, Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, below-normal temperatures are benefiting reproductive to filling summer crops.  Monday’s Midwestern high temperatures should generally range from 75 to 85°F.  In addition, showers and thunderstorms have developed across the southwestern Corn Belt, following the recent heat wave that resulted in some of the hottest weather in a decade.  For example, Columbia, Missouri, attained 105°F on July 23, representing the highest reading in that location since July 2012, when there were 8 days with temperatures reaching 105°F or greater.

On the Plains, an impressive, mid-summer heat wave has broken as far south as northern Kansas.  However, ongoing hot, dry conditions across Oklahoma and Texas are maintaining significant stress on rangeland, pastures, and summer crops.  Elsewhere, scattered showers and pleasant temperatures across the northern Plains are aiding spring-sown crops.

In the South, hot, humid weather prevails.  The most significant heat, relative to normal, stretches from the western Gulf Coast region to the Mississippi Delta, where afternoon temperatures above 100°F will occur at some inland locations.  Early Monday, showers and thunderstorms developing across portions of the Tennessee Valley are aiding pastures and summer crops that have been stressed by heat and short-term dryness.

In the West, several dangerous wildfires are actively burning.  Among the most prominent blazes is the Oak Fire, which has charred more than 15,000 acres of vegetation near Yosemite National Park in California.  In Idaho, the Moose Fire has scorched more than 32,000 acres of timber, brush, and grass.  Hot, dry weather continues across much of the region, but cooler conditions and scattered showers have returned in parts of the Southwest.

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