The Weather Front On-Line
Across the Corn Belt, a large thunderstorm complex produced heavy showers and gusty winds. As the complex formed late Tuesday, large hail pelted parts of the upper Midwest, accompanied by localized wind damage. Nevertheless, the moisture is mostly beneficial for summer crops, some of which are entering reproduction.
A nearly-stationary frontal boundary near the Ohio River will slowly shift northward as a warm front while becoming the focal point for some significant rainfall. Starting later Saturday night, periodic outbreaks of clustered showers and thunderstorms along the I-70 corridor will spread northward through Independence Day on Monday.
On the Plains, winter wheat harvesting was progressing rapidly across southern portions of the region. Meanwhile, locally heavy showers are easing short-term dryness but slowing fieldwork on the central Plains.
On the Plains, heat has generally abated and is now mostly confined to the central and northern High Plains. Winter wheat harvesting was progressing rapidly (nationally at 45 percent, versus 33 percent last year) under mostly sunny skies, though morning showers are slowing fieldwork in portions of Colorado and Kansas.
On the Plains, sunny skies along with somewhat cooler temperatures prevail across much of the region. Recent showers have provided localized soil moisture improvements central Oklahoma. Farther north, locally severe drought continues to affect western South Dakota and environs.
Across the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage. Recent showers brought some relief to the region’s driest areas, but rain is still needed in parts of the southern and eastern Corn Belt.
Across the Corn Belt, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms in advance of a warm front are easing topsoil moisture shortages from the eastern Dakotas into Illinois. Rain will reach the Ohio Valley later Wednesday and Wednesday night, providing much-needed relief from short-term dryness for vegetative corn and soybeans.
On the Plains, hot, mostly dry weather is increasing evaporative losses and boosting moisture demands for summer crops. Many areas across the nation’s mid-section retain adequate subsoil moisture, but some topsoil moisture shortages have developed during the recent and ongoing spate of hot weather.
On the Plains, slightly cooler weather from Nebraska northward contrasts with lingering heat farther south. The winter wheat harvest continues to advance northward across the southern and central Plains. Despite the recent trend toward hotter weather, many areas of the Plains retain adequate soil moisture.
On the Plains, cooler air is spreading across Montana and North Dakota, following overnight thunderstorms. Farther south, however, an early-season heat wave continues. For some locations on the central and southern Plains, Friday will mark a third consecutive day of 100-degree heat. The hot weather is spurring winter wheat maturation and harvesting.