The Weather Front On-Line
Across the Corn Belt, uncomfortably hot, humid weather prevails, although extreme heat—with temperatures approaching 100°—is confined to westernmost portions of the region. Earlier Thursday, a line of strong thunderstorms is racing across the Great Lakes region.
Across the Corn Belt, humidity is increasing, but temperatures remain mostly favorable for reproductive corn and soybeans. In addition, showers dot the Mississippi Valley and a few other Midwestern areas. However, heat is starting to build across the westernmost Corn Belt, where Wednesday’s high temperatures will approach 100°.
On the Plains, hot, humid weather has expanded to encompass much of the region. Tuesday’s high temperatures could reach the 100-degree mark as far north as eastern Montana and the western Dakotas. Lingering showers across the northern half of the region are diminishing as hot weather arrives.
On the Plains, unsettled weather lingers across the northern half of the region. Recent and ongoing showers have aided pastures and spring-sown crops in some of the northern Plains’ dry spots; on July 3, South Dakota led the Plains in topsoil moisture rated very short to short (50%).
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.