Slightly cooler, drier air settling southward across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, extreme heat is being suppressed southward in the wake of a weak cold front’s passage. In the Ohio Valley, however, where hot, humid conditions linger, Wednesday’s high temperatures could still reach or exceed 95°F. Due to recent heat and dryness, statewide topsoil moisture ranged from 20 to 44 percent very short to short on June 19 in all Midwestern States except Ohio, Minnesota, and North Dakota, with increases of more than 15 percentage points in the last week in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri.
On the Plains, lingering hot weather across much of Oklahoma and Texas contrasts with relatively typical early-summer conditions farther north. Any rain is generally falling across the central Plains, due to the interaction between a cold front and the monsoon circulation. In Texas, where topsoil moisture is rated 88% very short to short, the percentage of the cotton crop rated very poor to poor increased sharply, from 29 to 40%, during the week ending June 19.
In the South, a rapid, short-term drying trend continues to stress various summer crops, including corn, amid an ongoing heat wave. Wednesday’s high temperatures should reach or exceed 100°F in many locations from eastern Texas to Georgia and the Carolinas. On June 19, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in several Southern States, including Georgia (71%), Louisiana (67%), North Carolina (67%), and South Carolina (56%).
In the West, monsoon-related showers dot areas from southern California to the southern Rockies. Flash flooding remains a threat, especially on recently burned hillsides in New Mexico. Meanwhile, very warm, dry weather prevails in northern California and the Northwest. Wednesday’s high temperatures will easily exceed 100°F in California’s Sacramento Valley.