Storm clusters, building heat for the Corn Belt
Across the Corn Belt, very warm weather is building into southern corn and soybean production areas, where Wednesday’s high temperatures will exceed 90°. Elsewhere, beneficial showers dot the eastern Corn Belt, while favorably warm weather is aiding late-developing summer crops in the upper Midwest.
On the Plains, hot, dry weather is increasing stress on immature summer crops as far north as southern Nebraska. Temperatures could reach 100° later Wednesday in western Kansas and environs. In contrast, scattered showers on the northern Plains are slowing fieldwork, including spring wheat harvesting.
In the South, isolated showers are causing only minor fieldwork delays. On August 17, Texas led the South with 32% of its corn harvested, followed by Georgia (31%), South Carolina (19%), and Louisiana (12%).
In the West, widely scattered, monsoon-related showers stretch primarily from Arizona to the northern Rockies. Mostly dry weather prevails in the Pacific Coast States, although cooler weather is aiding wildfire containment efforts.
A series of disturbances crossing the northern half of the nation will remain the focus for widespread showers and thunderstorms from the northern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic States, resulting in 5-day rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches or more. Toward week’s end, a strong cold front will produce a final round of heavy rain, followed by unseasonably cool conditions, across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Weekend minimum temperatures near 40° are possible across the northern High Plains. In advance of the late-week cold front, heat will briefly surge northward, resulting in several days of temperatures near 95° as far north as the southern Corn Belt. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will persist across the south-central U.S., while cooler air will continue to overspread the West.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures from the Rockies to the upper Great Lakes region, while hotter-than-normal conditions will dominate New England, the Far West, and the Deep South. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in southern and western Texas and the Pacific Northwest will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in most areas east of the Rockies.