Heat & humidity levels to briefly abate

Heat & humidity levels to briefly abate

Across the Corn Belt, mild, mostly dry weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage. Pockets of dryness are mostly limited to the northeastern and southwestern Corn Belt; on July 1, Missouri led the Midwest in topsoil moisture rated very short to short, at 52%, followed by Michigan at 28%.

On the Plains, widely scattered showers dot the southern half of the region, accompanied by below-normal temperatures. Those conditions favor summer crop development, except in areas of lingering soil moisture shortages. Meanwhile, a heat wave is underway across the northern High Plains, including Montana, where Friday’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 100° in many locations.

In the South, warm, humid, showery weather is maintaining generally favorable growing conditions for pastures and summer crops. East of the Mississippi River, pasture conditions on July 1 ranged from 49% good to excellent in North Carolina to 85% good to excellent in Alabama. On the same date, however, pastures in Arkansas were rated just 23% good to excellent—and 26% very poor to poor.

In the West, hot weather prevails, except in the southern Rockies and along the Pacific Coast. An elevated threat of wildfires exists in parts of California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest, but clouds and higher humidity levels associated with the monsoon circulation are beginning to overspread the Southwest.

A cold front currently draped across the country from the Northeast to the southern Plains will remain the focus for primarily afternoon and evening thundershowers. As the front settles southward, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from southern and eastern Texas to the southern half of the Atlantic Coast. Meanwhile, showers associated with the monsoon circulation will become more numerous in the Four Corners States, but hot, dry weather will persist in northern California and much of the Northwest. Elsewhere, the Corn Belt will experience a gradual return to near- or above-normal temperatures, while showers will be mostly limited to the Ohio Valley and the upper Midwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for hotter-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures from the Desert Southwest to western and southern Texas. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across most of the country will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the Plains and upper Midwest, and from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies.

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