Weather report: Below normal temperatures reduce stress on crops

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In the West, dry weather and near- to below-normal temperatures prevail. Although there is a break in monsoon activity, Southwestern rangeland and pastures continue to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements.

On the Plains, hot weather is confined to parts of Texas. Elsewhere, near- to below-normal temperatures are helping to reduce stress on summer crops. However, soil moisture shortages remain a problem in some areas, leaving 42% of the sorghum in Colorado rated very poor to poor on July 28, along with 32% of the cotton in Texas and 28% of the corn in Kansas. Rain is ending on the southeastern Plains, but scattered showers continue across the northern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, cool weather is maintaining mostly favorable conditions for reproductive to filling summer crops. However, rain is still needed in parts of the western Corn Belt. Currently, beneficial showers are spreading across the middle Mississippi Valley and the upper Great Lakes region.

In the South, showers are returning to the northwestern fringe of the region, including Arkansas. Showers in the Mid-South are helping to improve soil moisture, following early-summer dryness. Meanwhile, favorably dry weather prevails in the Southeast, where many locations have received record-breaking July rainfall.

Outlook: A disturbance currently crossing the Mid-South will drift eastward. Storm-total rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches from the Ozark Plateau to the central Appalachians. Meanwhile, a cold front will sweep into the East by August 1, triggering additional showers. Toward week’s end, a band of showers will develop from the Pacific Northwest into the Mid-South, while monsoon showers will return to the Southwest. Temperatures will remain below normal in many key crop production areas, but heat will briefly appear in parts of the West and gradually build across the Deep South. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 4-8 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in the Pacific Northwest and southern sections of the Rockies and Plains. Cool weather will be most likely in the Great Lakes States. Meanwhile, near- to abovenormal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in southern Texas, the Great Lakes region, and parts of the Desert Southwest and Intermountain West.

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