Across the Corn Belt, thunderstorms are replenishing soil moisture reserves across northern crop areas, but unfavorably hot, dry conditions are stressing corn and soybeans across the remainder of the Midwest.
On the Plains, a brutal heat wave continues across the southern half of the region, where Tuesday’s high temperatures will again approach or reach 110°. At the end of July, USDA rated 93% of the rangeland and pastures in very poor to poor condition in Texas, along with 86% in Oklahoma. Similarly abysmal conditions were noted for Oklahoma’s cotton (88% very poor to poor) and sorghum (74%).
In the South, isolated showers are mostly limited to Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, a hotter, drier weather pattern is bringing renewed stress to pastures and rain-fed summer crops. At the end of July, nearly one-third (32%) of the cotton was rated in very poor to poor condition in both Alabama and Georgia.
In the West, a fairly tranquil weather pattern features isolated monsoon showers. Northwestern winter wheat harvesting efforts are accelerating under favorable conditions.
Tropical Storm Emily, currently over the Caribbean Sea southeast of Puerto Rico, will approach the southeastern U.S. by week’s end. Emily’s size, strength, and track will determine U.S. impacts, including how much rain will fall.
Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms will continue to wrap around a stubborn ridge of upper level high pressure over the south-central U.S. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 2 inches, with locally higher amounts, from the Four Corners States into the northern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. Scattered showers will also affect the Southeast.
The heat wave will break later this week across the Midwest but persist through week’s end from the southern Plains into the Southeast.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the North and West, while hotter-than-normal weather will prevail from the central and southern Rockies to the middle and southern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions from the northern Plains into the Midwest.