The Weather Front On-Line (July 2011)
On the Plains, relentless heat and devastating drought persist across the southern half of the region, with Texas’ rangeland and pastures currently rated 91% poor to very poor. In contrast, cool, showery weather on the northern Plains continues to delay crop development.
On the Plains, relentless heat and devastating drought conditions persist across roughly the southern half of the region. From 1995-2010, the coverage of Texas rangeland and pastures in very poor to poor condition peaked at 81% in August 1998 and 2006; coverage currently stands at 91%.
Across the Corn Belt, temperatures have fallen to near- to slightly above-normal levels, following last week’s heat wave. In addition, weekend locally heavy showers provided some much-needed moisture for reproductive corn and soybeans in an area of emerging dryness stretching from eastern Iowa into the lower Great Lakes region.
High temperatures approaching 100 degrees have many people wondering about the last time this occurred. Reaching 100 degrees is a rare occurrence in central Illinois. A review of the climate record shows it has been at least several years since most locations have reached triple digits. The Champaign-Urbana area went 16 years without reaching the century mark, until a high of
Statewide temperatures were a bit above normal last week. Precipitation a bit below normal. The far southern districts of the state received over one inch of rain. Northern areas, however, were again below average in rainfall.
Topsoil moisture was rated 9 percent very short, 29 percent short, 54 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.
A dangerous combination of heat and humidity continues!
An expansive area of upper level high pressure will intensify over the middle of the Nation. This will bring a return to oppressive heat and humidity, beginning this weekend. Conditions appear similar to the most recent heat wave, except over a much longer time frame.
For the remainder of the week, a stubborn ridge of high pressure will maintain hot, dry conditions across the drought-ravaged south-central U.S. However, tropical moisture will continue to wrap clockwise around the ridge, with heavy, “ring of fire” showers possible. A cold front crossing the northern half of the U.S. will further enhance rainfall in some areas.