In the West, hot, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development. Widely scattered showers are confined to the Intermountain West, while cool conditions are limited to areas along the Pacific Coast.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather prevails, although a few showers are crossing Montana. Hot weather is maintaining stress on pastures and immature summer crops on the High Plains, but favorably cool conditions cover the eastern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, locally heavy, drought-easing showers linger across eastern areas, especially in the lower Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, unfavorably dry, albeit cool weather covers the western and central Corn Belt, following a brief period of generally light but much-needed rainfall.

In the South, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms continue from the central Gulf Coast into the southern Atlantic States. Some of the nation’s greenest pastures are located in the Southeast; the region has two of the three states reporting less than one-tenth of their pastures in very poor to poor condition: Florida (2%) and Mississippi (3%).

Outlook: Favorably cool weather will prevail across most of the eastern half of the country through the weekend, while heat will persist in the West. During the early to middle part of next week, however, hot weather will gradually return to drought-affected areas of the Plains, Midwest, and Mid-South. Lingering showers in the East could result in additional rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches—with the highest amounts mostly occurring along the Atlantic Seaboard and in the Northeast. Elsewhere, 5-day rainfall totals will be mostly light—generally less than an inch—although a few higher amounts may occur in the Four Corners States. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 15-19 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions from the northern Rockies into the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather on the southern Plains.