Beneficial rains ahead for parts of the Midwest

Beneficial rains ahead for parts of the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, showers are overspreading drought-affected areas in Missouri and environs. The rain is largely too late for corn but should benefit pastures and later-developing summer crops such as soybeans. On August 12, Missouri led the country in corn (45%) and soybeans (37%) rated in very poor to poor condition. On the same date, national very poor-to-poor values for both crops stood at 10%.

On the Plains, scattered showers and below-normal temperatures are generally benefiting rangeland, pastures, and immature summer crops. On the northern Plains, the recently ended heat wave promoted small grain harvesting but reduced topsoil moisture, which was rated 63% very short to short in Montana on August 12.

In the South, a pair of storm systems are producing separate areas of scattered showers. Highly variable conditions exist across the region, ranging from unfavorable wetness in portions of the Atlantic Coast States to drought in parts of the mid-South. On August 12, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in Mississippi (56%) and Arkansas (50%).

In the West, degraded air quality due to wildfire smoke remains a concern in several areas, including central and eastern Washington, northern Idaho, and California’s San Joaquin Valley. Hot, dry weather in the Northwest favors small-grain harvesting, but is also a concern with respect to potential wildfire expansion.

Late-summer heat will persist in the West and spread eastward across the nation’s northern tier, reaching the northern High Plains by mid-week and the Great Lakes region by week’s end. Meanwhile, showery weather will prevail across large sections of the country. During the next 5 days, some of the heaviest rain (locally 1 to 4 inches or more) will fall from central sections of the Rockies and Plains into the southern and eastern Corn Belt. Similar totals can be expected in the Northeast, but mostly dry weather will persist in the Pacific Coast States. Dry weather will also cover much of central and southern Texas.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across the nation’s mid-section, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the Far West, southern Texas, portions of the Atlantic Coast States, and the lower Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and southern sections of Texas and Florida.

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