Heat wave to briefly abate

Heat wave to briefly abate

Across the Corn Belt, heat is increasing, particularly along and west of the Mississippi River. However, a slow-moving cold front is generating showers and thunderstorms in the Upper Midwest, while showers continue in southern portions of the Corn Belt. Nevertheless, drought lingers in northern Missouri and environs.

On the Plains, hot weather in the southern half of the region contrasts with notably cooler conditions on the northern Plains. Most locations have received significant rainfall over the past two weeks, but excessive heat (daytime highs approaching or topping 100°) is heightening crop-water demands across the southern Plains.

In the South, dry weather in the western Gulf Coast region is favoring flood recovery efforts along the Texas Coast but is otherwise detrimental to areas wrestling with short-term drought from central Texas into the Delta. Meanwhile, showers continue to maintain abundant moisture supplies for summer crops over the Southeast.

In the West, seasonably dry, warm weather is promoting fieldwork and Northwestern winter wheat maturation. Areas of dryness and drought persist, particularly in the Four Corners region, but water supplies are favorable across most of the western U.S.

High pressure anchored over the eastern third of the nation will allow the heat in the central U.S. to shift into the Ohio Valley and Atlantic Coast States over the weekend. However, an upper-air disturbance embedded within the eastern high will maintain locally heavy showers and thunderstorms over the Southeast; this feature will drift west, bringing much-needed rain to the central Gulf Coast region early next week. Meanwhile, a strong but slow-moving cold front over the north-central U.S. will push east and gradually weaken. Initially, the front will produce moderate to heavy rain (1 to 3 inches, locally more) in the Midwest, but rain will diminish as the weakening front drifts south and east. In the West, a pronounced trough (southward dip in the jet stream) will maintain cool but mostly dry conditions, although this will also prevent an early arrival of the much-anticipated Southwestern Monsoon.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the near- to above-normal temperatures over the entire nation. Drier-than-normal weather is expected from the Interior Northwest and northern Rockies eastward across the Plains, Corn Belt, and Northeast. Above-normal rainfall is anticipated over the Southeastern and Gulf Coast States, with smaller areas of surplus rainfall noted in the Southwest, Pacific Northwest, and Upper Midwest.

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