In the West, an active monsoon circulation is resulting in drought-easing rainfall in parts of Arizona and New Mexico. Hot, dry weather covers the remainder of the West, except for cool conditions along the Pacific Coast. In the Northwest, small grain harvesting is advancing but wildfire development remains a threat.

On the Plains, cool, dry weather prevails, except for lingering showers across southern areas. Topsoil moisture remains at critically low levels across most of the Plains—with very short to short ratings dominating on August 12 in Oklahoma (98% very short to short), Kansas (96%), and Nebraska (96%).

In the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails, except for a few showers in the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region. On August 12, topsoil moisture was rated mostly very short to short in Missouri (99% very short to short), Nebraska (96%), Illinois (95%), and Iowa (91%).

In the South, showers and thunderstorms are maintaining generally favorable conditions for pastures and immature summer crops. However, parts of the Mid-South—including Arkansas—remain in need of more rain, despite recent and ongoing shower activity.

Outlook: A cold front currently moving into the southern and eastern U.S. will stall across the Deep South. Rainfall in the vicinity of the front could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, from the southern Plains to the southern Atlantic States. Locally heavy showers will also affect the Southwest. During the next 5 days, however, little or no rain will fall across the northern half of the U.S. from the Northwest into the Midwest. Hotterthan- normal conditions in much of the West will expand across the northern High Plains by early next week, but cool weather will cover the remainder of the country. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 22-26 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the majority of the U.S., while hotter-than-normal weather will prevail from the Intermountain West to the High Plains and along parts of the Atlantic Seaboard. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across most of the nation will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the central and southern Plains and the Northwest.