Across the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are rolling across the northern edge of a ridge of high pressure that continues to produce crop-damaging heat. On the 4th of July, high temperatures reached or exceeded 100° across the majority of the Corn Belt, severely stressing reproductive corn and soybeans. Similar Midwestern temperatures can be expected again Thursday.
On the Plains, isolated but highly beneficial showers and thunderstorms are affecting areas from Nebraska northward. However, extreme heat continued to severely stress both rain-fed and irrigated summer crops on the central Plains. Temperatures are not as high on the southern Plains, although unfavorably dry weather prevails.
In the South, hot weather continues to promote a rapid crop development pace. However, drought remains a significant problem in several areas, particularly in an area centered on Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel.
In the West, a rich feed of monsoon moisture is producing showers from the Four Corners States to the Intermountain region. Higher humidity levels and scattered showers are aiding wildfire containment efforts.
A significant change in the nation’s overall weather pattern is on the horizon. Toward week’s, significant cooling will arrive across the central Plains and the upper Midwest. By early next week, the cooling trend will reach the southern Plains, the Mid-South, the southern and eastern Corn Belt, and the Mid-Atlantic States.
Widespread showers and locally severe thunderstorms will accompany the surge of cooler air, although only light rain will fall across the driest areas of the Midwest. In contrast, 1- to 3-inch rainfall totals can be expected in the Southeast and from the southern Rockies into the upper Midwest.
Meanwhile, heat will appear across the Northwest during the weekend and expand to encompass the northern High Plains and the remainder of the West—excluding the central and southern Rockies—early next week.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the majority of the U.S., while hotter-than-normal weather will be largely confined to the northern Plains and the West. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall from the Northwest to the Midwest will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Southeast and the central and southern Rockies.