In the West, an active monsoon circulation is providing local drought relief in portions of the Four Corners region. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather is maintaining heavy irrigation demands but promoting the maturation of Northwestern winter grains. On July 7, all of California’s rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor, along with 88% in New Mexico, 86% in Arizona, and 72% in Colorado.

On the Plains, showers precede a surge of cooler air across Montana and the Dakotas, but hot weather persists farther south. Today’s high temperatures will again top 100°F as far north as southern Nebraska. The ongoing heat is increasing stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops, especially in areas that have not received much rain in the last several weeks.

In the Corn Belt, scattered showers and thunderstorms—heaviest in the upper Midwest—are maintaining abundant moisture reserves for corn and soybean development. Some of the earliest planted corn and soybeans are reaching the reproductive stage of development. In Illinois, for example, 8% of the corn was silking by July 7, while 9% of the soybeans were blooming.

In the South, scattered showers linger in the well-watered southern Atlantic States. Meanwhile pockets of unfavorable dryness have begun to develop in parts of the Mid-South, including much of Arkansas.

Outlook: Cooler, drier air will overspread the Midwest by mid-week, but widespread showers will return to the upper Midwest toward week’s end. Meanwhile, a continuation of showery weather in the Southeast could lead to an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain during the next 5 days. Elsewhere, monsoon showers will continue in the Four Corners region, but mostly dry weather will prevail through week’s end across the southern Plains, northern Rockies, and Pacific Coast States. The West will experience a short-lived reprieve from hot conditions late in the week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 14-18 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and rainfall across the majority of the nation. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Deep South, from the southern Rockies to the Mississippi Delta, while drier-than-normal weather will be limited to the central Plains, northern Rockies, and Pacific Coast States.