Seasonal heat, limited rains across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, showers are arcing across northern corn and soybean production areas. However, most of the Midwest is experiencing dry weather—a spell that has lasted a week or more. Temperatures remain favorable for reproductive summer crops east of the Mississippi River, but Friday afternoon’s highs will creep above 90°F in the western Corn Belt.
On the Plains, dry weather and slowly increasing temperatures across the southern half of the region are increasing moisture demands for most summer crops. However, soil moisture reserves in most areas of the central and southern Plains continue to support normal crop development. Meanwhile, widely scattered showers on the northern Plains are providing only localized relief from historically hot, dry conditions that have sharply curtailed hay production and have devastated a variety of rain-fed crops, including barley, durum wheat, and spring wheat.
In the South, a low-pressure system east of the Eastern Seaboard is helping to draw showers away from the southern Atlantic coast. However, Florida’s peninsula remains in a hot, humid, unsettled weather pattern. Growing conditions across the remainder of the South are nearly ideal, with near- to slightly below-normal temperatures and generally abundant soil moisture reserves.
In the West, Arizona continues to receive widespread and locally heavy showers. A few showers extend northeastward across the Intermountain West and the central Rockies. In contrast, hot, mostly dry conditions persist in California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest. Wildfire season has arrived early in northern California and the Northwest, with dozens of wildfires actively burning. Four of those fires—two in California and one apiece in Idaho and Oregon—have charred at least 100,000 acres of vegetation. The size of the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon is approaching 400,000 acres.