In the West, showery weather in Arizona and New Mexico contrasts with hot, dry conditions in northern California and the Northwest. Heat in the Northwest favors winter wheat maturation and harvesting.

On the Plains, a cold front crossing the Dakotas is generating beneficial showers for summer crops, including immature spring wheat. Showers and thunderstorms also dot the central and southern Plains, aiding rangeland, pastures, and summer crops. Mild weather prevails, except for lingering heat on the southern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, cool weather remains beneficial for reproductive corn and soybeans. However, rain is still needed in parts of the western Corn Belt. During the week ending July 21, more than one-third of the corn began to silk in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio. Lagging in development, with less than 20% of the corn silking overall by July 21, were Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

In the South, dry weather prevails, except in the Atlantic coastal plain and the eastern Gulf Coast region. Dry weather is favorable in the Southeast, but rain is still needed in parts of the Mid-South to reduce stress on pastures and rain-fed summer crops.

Outlook: For the remainder of today, showers will linger along the Atlantic Seaboard and the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, the interaction between the monsoon circulation and a strong cold front will spark rainfall from the Southwest into the upper Midwest. Showers and thunderstorms will accompany the cold front as it drives southeastward, reaching the Atlantic Coast States by week’s end. Precipitation will return to the nation’s midsection during the weekend and early next week. Only the northern Rockies and parts of the Pacific Coast States will remain dry during the next 5 days. Unusually cool weather will dominate the Plains and Corn Belt during the next several days, with weekend temperatures below 40°F possible in parts of the upper Midwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 30 – August 3 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the majority of the nation, while warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to coastal New England and southern portions of the Rockies and High Plains. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across the northern and eastern U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from the Great Basin to the southern Plains, including the Four Corners region.