Wide-range of temperatures across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, overnight showers and thunderstorms provided some beneficial moisture for corn and soybeans in Iowa and portions of neighboring states. However, very dry conditions persist across the far upper Midwest, including much of the Dakotas. In addition, hot weather prevails west of the Mississippi River, where Wednesday’s high temperatures will generally range from 90 to 100°F. Meanwhile in the eastern Corn Belt, Wednesday’s highs will remain at or below 80°F.
On the Plains, hot, mostly dry weather prevails. Wednesday’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 100°F in several areas, mainly from western Texas to central South Dakota. The heat and dryness are promoting winter wheat maturation and harvesting. However, in areas experiencing drought—mainly across the northern Plains—rangeland, pastures, winter wheat, and summer crops continue to suffer significant impacts. On June 20, more than one-quarter (27%) of the U.S. spring wheat had headed, compared with the 5-year average of 18%, while 37% of the crop was rated very poor to poor.
In the South, lingering showers are mostly limited to Florida’s peninsula, although thunderstorms are lurking near the Texas coast. Across much of the region, dry weather and near- or below-normal temperatures favor summer crop development and a variety of fieldwork activities, including cutting hay and winter wheat harvesting.
In the West, the recent heat wave has ended in most areas. However, above-normal temperatures linger in the Northwest, where drought-stressed dryland crops continue to suffer. Showers and thunderstorms have developed in a few areas, most notably in the drought-stricken Southwest. However, some of the thunderstorms are producing lightning without the benefit of rainfall, enhancing the threat of wildfire ignition.