Across the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies near- or below-normal temperatures. Despite some variability in Midwestern crop conditions, corn and soybeans are progressing through the reproductive and filling stages of development without heat stress. Among Midwestern States on July 26, only Ohio reported more than one-tenth of both corn and soybeans rated in very poor to poor condition.
On the Plains, widespread showers continue to reduce drought coverage and intensity. However, some lingering drought impacts exist across the central and southern High Plains. On July 26, for example, rangeland and pastures were rated 43% in very poor to poor condition in Texas, along with 40% in Colorado.
In the South, humid, showery weather remains mostly favorable for pastures and summer crops. On July 26, pastures were rated at least one-half good to excellent in all Southern States from the Mississippi Valley eastward, except Virginia (36% good to excellent). On that date, pastures were 87% good to excellent in Alabama, along with 82% in Florida.
In the West, hot weather continues to intensify, accompanied by mostly dry conditions. Relative to normal, the most significant heat is occurring in the Northwest and Desert Southwest. Although the dry weather favors fieldwork, including Northwestern small-grain harvesting, some rangeland and pastures continue to exhibit signs of stress. On July 26, Oregon led the country with 69% of its rangeland and pastures rated in very poor to poor condition.
A nearly stationary front draped across the South will remain the focus for showers and thunderstorms for the remainder of the week. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches or more from the central and southern Plains eastward to the middle Atlantic Coast. In contrast, little or no rain will fall across the northern Plains and upper Midwest, accompanied by cooler-than-normal weather. In fact, below-normal temperatures will prevail in most areas between the Rockies and Appalachians. However, hot, dry weather will dominate the West. Meanwhile in the tropics, Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine will pass near the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, resulting in heavy rain, gusty winds, and possible flash flooding, but also providing drought relief. The system could soon become a full-fledged tropical storm; however, regardless of development, tropical showers and gusty winds could overspread Florida’s peninsula during the weekend.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures in the Pacific Northwest and much of the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail along the Atlantic Seaboard and from California to the High Plains. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in North Dakota and along the East Coast from Florida to southern New England.