Seasonal, late-summer weather across much of the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, a broken line of showers extends southwestward from the upper Great Lakes region.  Any rain in the western Corn Belt is too late to benefit maturing corn and soybeans.  Meanwhile, warm, dry weather across the southern and eastern Corn Belt is helping to push summer crops toward maturity.  On September 11, only 16% of the corn in Illinois was fully mature, compared to the 5-year average of 36%.

On the Plains, hot weather persists across the southern half of the region, where Friday’s high temperatures will generally range from 90 to 95°F.  With the Plains’ winter wheat planting progress (on September 11) ranging from 3% complete in Kansas to 20% in Colorado, rain will soon be needed to ensure uniform emergence.  On the northern Plains, relatively cool weather accompanies widely scattered showers.

In the South, showers are confined to Florida’s peninsula.  Elsewhere, warm, dry weather is ideal for summer crop maturation and harvesting, except in areas where lingering wetness is hampering fieldwork.  On September 11, Louisiana led the nation with topsoil moisture rated 35% surplus, followed by Alabama (22%) and Georgia (18%).

In the West, poor air quality and smoky conditions from rampant wildfire activity continue to plague parts of California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest.  Actively burning wildfires in Idaho and the Pacific Coast States have collectively charred more than three-quarters of a million acres of vegetation.  In addition, the Mosquito Fire has become California’s largest wildfire of the year to date, with some 68,000 acres burned and more than five dozen structures destroyed.

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