Spotty showers; very warm on the Plains, seasonally cool across the eastern Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, hazy conditions are due to rampant Canadian wildfires.  Any showers are light and limited to the upper Mississippi Valley and Midwest.  As a result, most of the Midwest continues to lose soil moisture due to evaporative losses and crop moisture demands.  Cooler air is overspreading the Great Lakes region, but hot weather persists in much of the western Corn Belt.  On June 4, topsoil moisture was rated more than one-half very short to short in all Midwestern States except Minnesota and North Dakota, led by Michigan (88%), Ohio (76%), and Missouri (75%).

On the Plains, apart from spotty showers over northeastern areas, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork and a rapid pace of crop development.  By June 4, the winter wheat harvest was well underway across the southern Plains, led by Texas (29% complete) and Oklahoma (15%).  Farther north, pockets of significant drought persist, with topsoil moisture rated more than one-half very short to short on June 4  in South Dakota (55%) and Nebraska (53%). 

In the South, warm weather favors crop growth, except in areas where soil moisture is limited.  On June 4, Arkansas led the South with topsoil moisture rated 73% very short to short, followed by Kentucky at 53%.  Early today, rain showers are generally confined to portions of the Gulf Coast region. 

In the West, isolated showers stretch from California to the central and southern Rockies.  Meanwhile, hot, dry weather prevails in much of the Northwest, where soil moisture is becoming limited for some rain-fed crops.  By June 4, Oregon led the West with topsoil moisture rated 64% very short to short, followed by Washington at 55%.

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