Critical topsoil moisture shortages across most of the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, highly beneficial showers are affecting eastern areas, including northern Indiana. However, critical moisture shortages persist in most states, with Illinois reporting topsoil moisture 100% very short to short on July 29. Not far behind are Missouri (99%), Nebraska (96%), Iowa (96%), and Indiana (92%).

On the Plains, widely scattered showers dot northern and central portions of the region. However, extreme heat continues to adversely affect pastures and summer crops throughout the Plains. Tuesday’s high temperatures will again approach or reach 110° across portions of the southern Plains. On July 29, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska led the Plains with topsoil moisture rated 96% very short to short.

In the South, showers and thunderstorms are providing beneficial moisture for pastures and immature summer crops, including cotton and peanuts. Some of the most significant rain is falling in Alabama and neighboring states. Farther west, however, extremely hot, dry conditions persist in the Mid-South, including Arkansas.

In the West, the monsoon circulation is sparking scattered showers from Arizona and southern California to the central Rockies. In the Northwest, dry weather favors small grain harvesting and other fieldwork.

Extremely hot weather will persist through week’s end across the south-central U.S., where occasional highs above 110° can be expected. Unfavorably hot weather will also continue across the Mid-South and parts of the western and southern Corn Belt. In contrast, a short-lived but substantial cool spell will arrive late in the week across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Widespread showers will precede and accompany the turn toward cooler weather, with 1- to 2-inch totals possible across the upper Midwest.

Elsewhere, significant rainfall during the next 5 days will be confined to parts of the Southeast and Southwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions along the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the upper Midwest into the Mid-Atlantic States.

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