In the West, sunny skies are favoring cotton and rice development in California and Arizona. Northwestern winter wheat benefited from early-week rainfall, while numerous large wildfires persist across the Rockies.
On the Plains, a weak frontal boundary is separating blistering heat (100-110°F, locally higher) across the southern half of the region from cooler conditions over the northern Plains. A few showers are developing along the front in Colorado and Nebraska, but much more rain is needed for pastures and summer crops.
In the Corn Belt, dry weather and a developing heat wave are increasing concern for corn and soybeans in the central Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. The last 30 days have featured little — if any — rain in western Ohio, Indiana, and southern portions of Illinois and Wisconsin. Today’s high will approach or exceed 100°F in Missouri as well as central and southern Illinois, and top 95°from northern Illinois into southwestern Ohio.
In the South, flood recovery efforts are underway in Florida and southern Georgia, where 6 to 20 inches of rain fell from slow-moving Tropical Storm Debby. Elsewhere, dry, warm weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development but exacerbating Southeastern drought.
Outlook: An extreme heat wave which has been impacting the central and southern Plains will expand east, encompassing much of the central, southern, and eastern U.S. over the next 5 days. Temperatures are expected to approach or top 100°F across the central and southern Mississippi Valley today, with 100-degree heat reaching the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic by Friday. A weak frontal boundary may afford central and northern portions of the Corn Belt some relief in the form of showers and cooler temperatures over the weekend, but the intensity and placement of the rain are still uncertain. The western U.S. will remain mostly dry, although thunderstorms will dot the Four Corners Region. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 3-7 calls for warmer- and drier-than-normal weather across much of the nation. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Pacific Coast States and southern Florida, while chances for near- to above-normal precipitation will be greatest in the Southwest, upper Midwest, and coastal Southeast.