Record-shattering heat on the southern Plains
Across the Corn Belt, a broken line of showers and thunderstorms stretches from Michigan to southern Nebraska. The rain is providing localized relief to drought-stressed pastures and summer crops. Meanwhile, unfavorably hot weather persists across the southern Corn Belt, where Thursday’s high temperatures will again approach 100°.
On the Plains, beneficial thundershowers are affecting central portions of the region, including southern Nebraska and northern Kansas. Meanwhile, a strong cold front is approaching the northern Plains. Elsewhere, record-shattering heat is maintaining severe stress on cotton and other immature summer crops on the southern Plains, where Wednesday’s highs soared to 112° in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Wichita Falls, Texas.
In the South, scattered showers are heaviest in parts of Arkansas. Despite the rain in the Mid-South, much more precipitation will be needed to initiate and sustain recovery from this summer’s devastating heat and drought. Meanwhile in the Southeast, hot weather is promoting a rapid crop development pace.
In the West, generally warm, dry weather prevails during a lull in monsoon activity. Chilly conditions persist, however, along the Pacific Coast.
A strong cold front currently crossing the Canadian Prairies will reach the northern Plains on Friday and the Midwest during the weekend. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will precede and accompany the cold front, mainly across the nation’s northern tier. Event-total rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches from the Dakotas into the Northeast. However, only isolated showers can be expected across the core drought areas of the Plains and Midwest. In the front’s wake, below-normal temperatures will prevail across the northern and central Plains late in the week and across the Midwest during the weekend and early next week. However, hot weather will return to the High Plains early next week.
Elsewhere, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in the Southeast.
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, below-normal rainfall from the southern Plains into the lower Ohio Valley will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Four Corners region, much of the Southeast, and from the Great Lakes region into New England.