Beneficial rains on the southern Plains

On the Plains, locally heavy rain in parts of Oklahoma and Texas is providing much-needed moisture for rangeland, pastures, and summer crops. However, enough rain has fallen in some areas to trigger flash flooding. In Waco, Texas, more than 4 inches of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours. In contrast, mostly dry weather prevails on the northern and central Plains.

Across the Corn Belt, warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote a rapid pace of corn and soybean growth. However, short-term dryness is becoming more pronounced in the southwestern Corn Belt, including portions of Iowa, Missouri, and southeastern Nebraska.

In the South, drier weather is overspreading the southern Atlantic States, following recent downpours. In contrast, unfavorable dryness continues to stress pastures and rain-fed crops in the Mid-South.

In the West, showers are increasing in coverage and intensity across the southern Rockies, where unusually cool weather prevails. Cool conditions also cover areas along the Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development.

Looking ahead, a disturbance currently centered over the southern Plains will continue to drift westward, providing the focus for locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. The threat for flash flooding will eventually shift from the southern Plains to the southern Rockies and parts of the Desert Southwest. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, from Arizona to Texas. Meanwhile, a heat wave will persist through week’s end across the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, where temperatures could approach 100°. Hot weather will also prevail in the West, excluding the southern Rockies and the Southwest. Toward week’s end, strong thunderstorms associated with a cold front can be expected to develop from the Great Lakes States into the Northeast.

The 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across most of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail along the middle and southern Atlantic Coast and much of the West. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with below-normal precipitation in northern New England, the northern Rockies, and the Pacific Coast States.

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