A seasonal weather pattern covers the Corn Belt

A seasonal weather pattern covers the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, lingering showers are confined to the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region. Dry weather has returned to the southwestern Corn Belt, following early-week showers that provided some limited drought relief. Most of the remainder of the Midwest continues to experience mostly favorable growing conditions for summer crops, with only one-tenth of U.S. corn and soybeans rated very poor to poor on August 5.

On the Plains, beneficial showers are edging southward, but the bulk of Texas remains unfavorably dry. On August 5, Texas led the Plains with topsoil moisture rated 78% very short to short. Meanwhile on the northern Plains, very warm, dry weather favors harvest activities for winter wheat and spring-sown small grains.

In the South, hot, humid conditions prevail along the Gulf Coast and in the southern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, beneficial showers and thunderstorms are spreading across previously dry areas of the mid-South, including Arkansas, where topsoil moisture was rated 62% very short to short on August 5.

In the West, record-setting heat dominates northern California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest. The heat favors Northwestern small grain harvesting, but is also hampering wildfire containment efforts. The nation’s largest active fire is the Mendocino Complex, which at nearly 300,000 acres of charred vegetation has become the largest wildfire in modern California history.

Showers and thunderstorms currently stretching across the interior Southeast and portions of the southern Plains will continue to shift generally southward. Five-day rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches or more across the South and East, with some of the highest totals expected in drought-affected areas of the mid-South. In addition, monsoon-related showers will affect the southern Rockies and parts of Arizona. Meanwhile, dry weather will prevail through week’s end in most areas from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains. Further, extremely hot weather will persist across much of the West and overspread the northern Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions across southern sections of the Rockies and Plains. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in New England.

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