The 6-10 day temperature outlook
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Across the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms stretch from Michigan to Missouri. Early Wednesday, some of the heaviest rain is falling across the lower Missouri Valley. However, spotty dryness—primarily across the eastern Corn Belt—continues to adversely affect some corn and soybeans. On July 12, more than one-tenth of the corn and soybeans were rated in very poor to poor condition in Indiana (12 and 11%, respectively) and Michigan (17 and 13%, respectively).

On the Plains, thunderstorms are slowing fieldwork but generally benefiting summer crops across Kansas, Nebraska, and portions of neighboring states. However, large hail, flash flooding, and high winds accompany some of the thunderstorms. Elsewhere, cool, dry weather covers the northern Plains, while blazing heat persists across much of Texas. On July 14, high temperatures in Texas soared to 112° in Borger and Childress, and 111° in Lubbock and Midland.

In the South, hot weather prevails in advance of an approaching cold front. Conditions are particularly unpleasant from the western Gulf Coast region into the lower Mississippi Valley, where the combination of heat and high humidity levels are increasing stress on livestock. The Southeast is mostly dry Wednesday morning—but should experience an increase in shower activity later Wednesday.

In the West, heat lingers in the Four Corners States and continues to build across northern California and the Pacific Northwest. As Northwestern winter wheat ripens and dries down, the harvest is accelerating. Oregon led the Northwest on July 12 with 5% of its winter wheat harvested. Elsewhere, showers associated with the Southwestern monsoon circulation are primarily affecting the southern Rockies, as well as parts of eastern Arizona. 

A cold front crossing the Plains and Midwest will drift eastward and gradually weaken, while a second front will arrive across the northern Plains and upper Midwest late in the week. Five-day Midwestern rainfall totals could reach 1 to 2 inches, with locally higher amounts. Meanwhile, the Southwestern monsoon circulation will become more fully established, leading to scattered showers in portions of the Four Corners States. The interaction between the monsoon circulation and the two cold fronts should result in thundershowers on the Plains as far south as Texas’ northern panhandle. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will prevail in several other areas, including the remainder of Texas and large sections of the western U.S.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of hotter-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near-or below-normal temperatures across the northern Plains and far upper Midwest. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal conditions in the southern Plains, Great Basin, and Northwest should contrast with near- or above-normal rainfall across the remainder of the country.

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Greg Soulje, a professional meteorologist since 1985, offers national agricultural weather forecasts via "This Week in Agribusiness."

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