In the West, a return to cool weather in the Pacific Coast States contrasts with hot conditions farther inland. Shower activity is increasing across the Northwest in advance of an approaching storm system.

On the Plains, dry weather prevails. Hot weather is returning to the High Plains, placing pastures and rain-fed summer crops under renewed stress. On June 17, topsoil moisture was rated 79% very short to short in Colorado, where more than half (58%) rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition.

In the Corn Belt, extremely dry conditions across southern and eastern portions of the region contrast with favorable growing weather in the upper Midwest. On June 17, topsoil moisture was rated at least two-thirds very short to short in Indiana (85%), Missouri (82%), Ohio (77%), and Illinois (70%).

In the South, scattered showers are confined to Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, very warm, dry weather favors fieldwork, although precipitation is badly needed in much of the Mid-South to prevent further stress on pastures and rain-fed summer crops. On June 17, topsoil moisture was rated 71% very short to short in Arkansas.

Outlook: A low-pressure system currently near the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula is developing and may become a tropical storm over the Gulf of Mexico during the weekend. Regardless of tropical development, heavy rain can be expected in the vicinity of the eastern Gulf Coast, including much of Florida. Meanwhile, heat will build across the nation’s mid-section. During the weekend and continuing into next week, highs of 100°F or greater can be expected on the southern Plains. In contrast, a period of below-normal temperatures will arrive in the Midwest early next week. Elsewhere, thunderstorms will occur today in the East, followed by scattered weekend showers in the Northwest and Midwest. Heavy rain may develop in New England early next week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for June 27 – July 1 calls for hotter- and drier-than-normal weather across the majority of the U.S. Below-normal temperatures will be mostly confined to the Northeast and areas along the California coast. Abovenormal rainfall will be limited to the Northeast, southern Florida, and central portions of the Rockies and High Plains.