Favorable late-Summer pattern across much of the Midwest
Across the Corn Belt, pockets of dryness continue to stress some Midwestern summer crops. In areas with adequate soil moisture reserves, corn and soybeans are filling under favorably warm, dry conditions.
On the Plains, hot weather persists, especially across western portions of the region. Heat favors small grain harvesting on the northern Plains, but exceptional drought covers much of the southern Plains.
In the South, Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the southern Mid-Atlantic Coast. Early Friday morning, Irene was centered 375 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, moving toward the north-north at 14 mph. The hurricane is a strong category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds near 110 mph. Where possible, producers in the Atlantic coastal plain are harvesting crops in advance of Irene.
In the West, hot weather continues to promote crop development and fieldwork, including Northwestern small grain harvesting. Isolated showers are mostly confined to the Four Corners States.
Hurricane Irene will continue to bear down on the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, bringing locally excessive rain, strong gusty winds, and a damaging storm surge to areas along or near the path of the storm. Irene is expected to make landfall in North Carolina’s Outer Banks Saturday afternoon, and reach New England mid-day Sunday.
Elsewhere, late-season heat will continue in many areas of the country, especially across the western half of the U.S. Outside of Irene’s influence, rain during the next 5 days will be mostly confined to an area stretching from the Southwest to the upper Midwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. Cooler-than-normal weather will be confined to areas along and near the Pacific Coast, while wetter-than-normal conditions will be limited to portions of the northern Plains and Florida.