Heat wave on the Plains to build across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather is maintaining concern for corn and soybeans in the central Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. Tuesday’s highs will average 4 to 8° below normal from Illinois into Ohio, reducing crop-water demands somewhat. Nevertheless, rain will be needed soon as more corn and soybeans enter reproduction. As of June 24, corn condition was rated 22 and 36 percent poor to very poor in Illinois and Indiana, respectively.

On the Plains, hot, dry weather persists, sustaining rapid dry-down and harvesting of hard red winter wheat in southern production areas. However, 100-degree heat (locally more than 110°) and gusty winds are causing rapid drought intensification from southern Montana into Texas.

In the South, Tropical Storm Debby is producing torrential rainfall and isolated tornadoes over Florida and southern Georgia as it drifts eastward across the northeastern Gulf. The rain is causing widespread flooding but providing much-needed relief from severe drought.

In the West, showers are benefiting heading to filling winter wheat in the Northwest, while sunny skies are advancing the development of cotton, rice, and other irrigated summer crops in California and Arizona. However, the wildfire threat remains high across much of the Intermountain West.

Tropical Storm Debby will drift slowly east, generating heavy rain (5-10 inches or more) over northern Florida and adjacent portions of Georgia and South Carolina. Outside of Debby’s influence, dry conditions will prevail across the remainder of the Southeast.

Meanwhile, a blistering heat wave (daytime highs reaching 100-110°) will prevail across the Plains, although cooler conditions will arrive on the northern Plains by mid-week. Some of the Plains’ heat will spread into the southern Corn Belt later in the week, while the upper Midwest will remain favorably cooler; scattered showers are possible in the Corn Belt at week’s end, but the prospects for drought-breaking rainfall appear bleak at this time.

The West is forecast to remain mostly dry, except for some patchy rain in the Northwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook hotter- and drier-than-normal weather across much of the nation, with cooler-than-normal conditions confined to the Pacific Coast States.

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