Across the Corn Belt, a few showers linger across the Ohio Valley in the wake of a departing cold front. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest, raising concerns about delayed maturation for late-planted corn and soybeans. Since the beginning of the 21st century, there have been only four instances where less than one-sixth of the U.S. corn had dented by August 18: 2013 (11% dented), 2009 (12%), 2019 (15%), and 2008 (16%).
On the Plains, cool weather prevails in most areas from Kansas northward. Small grain harvesting continues on the northern Plains amid widely scattered showers. Elsewhere, hot weather lingers across the southern High Plains, while locally heavy showers and thunderstorms are occurring in Oklahoma and environs.
In the South, showers and thunderstorms stretch from the southern Mid-Atlantic region into the mid-South. Locally heavy showers are also occurring along the central Gulf Coast and in the vicinity of Florida’s peninsula. In areas where rain is not falling, heat favors maturation and harvesting of crops such as corn.
In the West, hot, dry weather across the Intermountain region contrasts with cool conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Heat also persists in much of the Southwest, where sub-par monsoon rainfall has contributed to more than one-third of the rangeland and pastures being rated in very poor to poor condition on August 18 in New Mexico (43%) and Arizona (36%).
During the weekend, heat will re-intensify on the southern High Plains and persist across much of the Southwest and Intermountain West. In contrast, cool air will deepen its grip by early next week across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Meanwhile, a disturbance near the southern Atlantic Coast may have an opportunity to slowly develop while drifting northwestward. Regardless of development, heavy rain can be expected in the southern Atlantic States as tropical moisture interacts with an approaching cold front. Heavy showers may also occur elsewhere in the Southeast, especially near the Gulf Coast. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will cover the West, while showers and thunderstorms will drift eastward from the Plains, eventually reaching the Midwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures in most areas between the Rockies and Appalachians, while hotter-than-normal weather will cover the Atlantic Coast States, the Rio Grande Valley, and the Far West. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across most of the country will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in parts of the Intermountain West and from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains.