In the West, relatively cool weather and scattered showers in the Four Corners States contrasts with hot, dry weather across the northern half of the region. Northwestern heat is favorable for winter wheat maturation and harvesting.

On the Plains, dry weather favors crop development and fieldwork, including winter wheat harvesting across northern production areas. Cool weather lingers across the southern Plains in the wake of drought-easing rainfall, but unfavorably dry conditions persist on the central Plains.

In the Corn Belt, an approaching cold front is generating scattered showers and thunderstorms. Shower activity is most significant in the Great Lakes region. In advance of the storminess, heat and short-term rainfall deficits are maintaining stress on reproductive corn and soybeans in the southwestern Corn Belt.

In the South, wet weather continues across Florida’s peninsula, but favorably dry weather covers the remainder of the well-watered southern Atlantic States. Scattered showers are providing local relief from short-term dryness across the Mid-South and the lower Mississippi Valley.

Outlook: The ongoing heat wave across the Midwest and Northeast will soon end in the wake of a cold front’s passage. The cold front will also spark widespread rainfall (locally 1 to 3 inches or more) across the eastern one-third of the U.S., and result in severe thunderstorms on July 19-20 from the Midwest into the Northeast. Meanwhile, an active monsoon circulation will produce widespread, drought-easing showers from the Southwest to the central Plains. In contrast, mostly dry weather will accompany building heat from the Pacific Coast to the northern High Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 24-28 calls for above-normal temperatures in most areas west of the Mississippi River, while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail across southern Florida and from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast. Meanwhile, above-normal rainfall in the Southwest and the eastern one-third of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather across the southern Plains and the Northwest.