Across the Corn Belt, dry weather and near- or above-normal temperatures have returned in the wake of beneficial rainfall. Dryness-related concerns are greatest in the eastern Corn Belt, where corn and soybeans were generally planted later due to spring wetness and have faced adversities such as May freezes. Among Midwestern States, corn was rated less than two-thirds good to excellent on June 28 only in Indiana (63% good to excellent), Ohio (63%), and Michigan (65%).
On the Plains, isolated showers are causing only minor fieldwork delays as the winter wheat harvest advances northward. By June 28, the winter wheat harvest was 47% complete in Kansas but had not yet begun in Montana and South Dakota. Summer crops across the northern Plains are benefiting from recent rainfall and a concurrent boost in topsoil moisture, while rangeland, pastures, and many rain-fed crops on the central and southern High Plains continue to experience significant drought stress.
In the South, showers have diminished in coverage and intensity. Still, warm, humid weather accompanies scattered showers, favoring a rapid pace of summer crop development. In addition, the winter wheat harvest is nearing completion in many areas of the South—89% complete in Arkansas on June 28, along with 73% in North Carolina.
In the West, temperatures are slowly rebounding but remain mostly below normal. A Frost Advisory Was in effect early Thursday in parts of south-central Oregon. Mostly dry weather is promoting fieldwork, including initial winter wheat harvesting in the Northwest, but topsoil moisture was at least one-half very short to short on June 28 in New Mexico (86%), California (80%), Colorado (69%), and Wyoming (59%).
A Western warming trend will continue, with above-normal temperatures returning across much of the Four Corners region during the holiday weekend. General warmth will across cover the central and eastern U.S., although Midwestern high temperatures will remain mostly below 95º. Meanwhile, temperatures may occasionally top the 100-degree mark across the central and southern High Plains. During the next several days, little or no rain will fall west of the Rockies, in central and southern Texas, and across the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region. In contrast, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches from Louisiana to Florida and in parts of the Dakotas. In addition, drought-affected areas of New England may experience some drought relief.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in northern California, the northern Great Basin, and the Northwest. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in parts of the Southeast and from the northern Plains into the upper Great Lakes region.