The 6-10 day rainfall forecast
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On the Plains, heat is starting to build, primarily across the western half of the region. During the transition to a hotter weather pattern, scattered showers linger in several areas. However, drought impacts persist across the central and southern High Plains; on August 9, Colorado led the nation (among major production states) with 38% of its sorghum rated in very poor to poor condition, along with 37% of its corn.

Across the Corn Belt, producers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and portions of neighboring states are assessing the impacts of Monday’s high winds. Gusts of 60 to 100 mph were reported across a broad area, flattening some corn fields and causing scattered to widespread damage to farm buildings and equipment. Currently, pleasant temperatures and tranquil conditions have returned across much of the Midwest, following Monday’s fierce thunderstorms.

In the South, warm, humid weather is maintaining generally favorable growing conditions for pastures and summer crops. On August 9, more than three-quarters (76%) of the U.S. rice and 73% of the peanuts were rated in good to excellent condition. The rice harvest is well underway in the western Gulf Coast region, led by Louisiana (48% complete).

In the West, mostly dry weather accompanies near- or above-normal temperatures. The hottest weather is occurring in the Desert Southwest, where Tuesday’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 110° in many locations. Farther north, an elevated threat of wildfires exists across much of the interior West. However, dry weather also favors harvesting of Northwestern crops such as barley, spring wheat, and winter wheat.

Hot, dry conditions will persist across much of the West for the remainder of the week, promoting fieldwork but maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, and immature summer crops. Heat will further intensify in the Desert Southwest, while briefly cooler weather will affect the Northwest around mid-week. Hot, dry weather will extend as far east as the High Plains. Meanwhile, active weather will soon return across the western Corn Belt, where 5-day rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches. Increasingly wet weather will also develop in the middle and southern Atlantic States. In fact, excessive rainfall (locally 5 inches or more) could lead to flash flooding across the eastern slopes of the central and southern Appalachians.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions from the middle Mississippi Valley to the central Appalachians. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Pacific Northwest and portions of the Gulf and Atlantic Coast States.

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