A much wetter pattern by week's end

A much wetter pattern by week's end

Across the Corn Belt, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms in the upper Midwest are resulting in a heightened risk of flash flooding and maintaining high water levels along many streams and rivers. Meanwhile in the eastern Corn Belt, a late-season heat wave in hastening summer crop maturation. Nearly one-quarter (22%) of the U.S. corn crop was fully mature by September 2, compared to the 5-year average of 11%.

On the Plains, A Frost Advisory was in effect early Wednesday across parts of northern North Dakota, where the small grain harvest is nearly complete. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms continue across the central and southern Plains, slowing fieldwork but generally benefiting rangeland, pastures, and immature summer crops.

In the South, Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall around 10:30 pm CDT Tuesday night near the Alabama-Mississippi border with sustained winds near 70 mph. Early Wednesday morning, Gordon had weakened to a tropical depression and was centered about 25 miles south-southeast of Jackson, Mississippi, moving northwest at 14 mph. Maximum sustained winds had diminished to 35 mph. USDA/NASS statistics for September 2 indicate that the rice harvest was 49% complete in Mississippi and 20% complete in Arkansas. Cotton bolls open in the Mississippi Delta ranged from 52% in Missouri and Tennessee to 79% in Louisiana.

In the West, widely scattered showers dot the Four Corners States. Meanwhile, hot, dry weather covers much of California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest.

Gordon will continue to weaken and move farther inland, but deceleration of the remnant circulation could lead to excessive rainfall (4 to 8 inches, with isolated amounts near 12 inches) from the central Gulf Coast into the mid-South. Later in the week, Gordon’s remnants will merge with a cold front, resulting in the potential for excessive rainfall and additional flooding across the central Corn Belt. Meanwhile, heavy showers will linger across Florida and the central and southern Plains, but hot, dry weather will cover much of the Far West.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures nearly nationwide. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Northwest. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across much of the central and western U.S. should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the South and East, as well as the Pacific Northwest and the far upper Midwest.

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