Soil moisture lacking in the western Corn Belt
Across the Corn Belt, scattered showers and thunderstorms precede and accompany a cold front’s passage. Cool weather is returning to the upper Midwest, but warmth lingers in the Ohio Valley. Portions of the region, especially across the western Corn Belt, still have limited soil moisture for corn and soybean development.
On the Plains, scattered showers and thunderstorms are affecting central portions of the region, and flooding remains a threat in portions of southern Kansas and eastern Oklahoma. Meanwhile on the northern Plains, generally dry weather favors the maturation of spring-sown small grains and winter wheat harvesting.
In the South, widely scattered showers are maintaining generally adequate to locally excessive soil moisture for pastures and summer crops. However, a recent drying trend, accompanied by hot weather, has stressed crops in the western Gulf Coast region. On August 4, only 41% of the Texas rice crop was rated in good to excellent condition, compared to 70% nationally.
In the West, isolated showers are primarily confined to the Intermountain region, although winter wheat harvesting continues to advance with only minor delays. In addition, hot weather and lightning strikes are maintaining the threat of wildfire activity in the Northwest. Temperatures are rising to near-normal levels elsewhere in the West, except for a lingering chill along the Pacific Coast.
Looking ahead, a new surge of cool air will arrive across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest during the first half of the week before encompassing much of the eastern half of the U.S. by week’s end. In contrast, hot weather will persist across the interior Northwest, develop on the northern High Plains, and gradually return to the Southwest. Meanwhile, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in the Southeast and 1 to 3 inches across portions of the central and southern Plains. In contrast, little or no rain will fall in the Rio Grande Valley, Midwest, and west of the Rockies.
The 6- to 10-day outlook for calls for below-normal temperatures from the central and southern Plains into the Southeast, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the northern and western U.S. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Southeast.