Across the Corn Belt, heat is temporarily building back across southern portions of the region in advance of a cold front. In addition, unfavorably dry weather has returned, following last week’s beneficial showers. During the week ending August 5, half (50%) of the U.S. corn was rated very poor to poor, along with 39% of the U.S. soybeans. This is the highest percentage of corn in those two categories since August 21, 1988, when the value peaked at 53%. Soybeans rated very poor to poor climbed to a record, surpassing the July 1988 peak of 37%.
On the Plains, hot weather prevails, despite isolated showers and thunderstorms. Heat and limited soil moisture reserves are maintaining stress on pastures and summer crops. On August 5, rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition ranged from 44% in North Dakota to 89% in both Kansas and Nebraska.
In the South, scattered showers continue to benefit pastures and immature summer crops. However, parts of the Mid-South remain extremely dry. For example, nearly all of the pastures are rated in very poor to poor condition in Missouri (99%) and Arkansas (86%).
In the West, hot weather prevails, except along the Pacific Coast. Isolated showers associated with the monsoon circulation are confined to the Four Corners States. Meanwhile, Northwestern small grain harvesting is advancing under a favorable weather regime.
During the second half of the week, cool air in the wake of a cold front’s passage will result in an extended period of below-normal temperatures across the eastern Plains, the Midwest, and the Northeast.
Showers and thunderstorms will precede and accompany the front, although significant Midwestern rainfall (locally 1 to 2 inches or more) will be mostly confined to the northern and eastern Corn Belt. Elsewhere, locally heavy showers will continue in the Southeast, while hot, mostly dry weather will prevail from the High Plains westward.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near-normal temperatures east of the Mississippi River and in the Pacific Northwest, while hotter-than-normal weather will prevail across much of the western and central U.S. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across the majority of the nation will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from the southern Plains into the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys.