Weather report: Dry weather returns to the Corn Belt
In the West, showers associated with the monsoon circulation dot the Four Corners States and the Intermountain region. Meanwhile in the Northwest, hot, dry weather favors summer crop development and winter wheat maturation and harvesting.
On the Plains, overnight thunderstorms dumped heavy rain in a few areas, mainly across central and eastern Oklahoma. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development, although hot conditions linger across the southern Plains.
In the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather prevails. Topsoil moisture for reproductive corn and soybeans is limited in parts of the Midwest, mainly in an area centered on western and southern Iowa and northern Missouri.
In the South, overnight thunderstorms provided some drought relief in Arkansas and neighboring areas. Among states bordering the Mississippi River and points east, Arkansas had the worst pasture conditions on July 21—just 27% good to excellent. Among other states from the Mississippi Valley eastward, pastures rated good to excellent ranged from 48% in Mississippi to 91% in Alabama.
Outlook: Near- to below-normal temperatures will cover much of the nation during the next few days, except for lingering heat across the Deep South and the Northwest. However, even those areas will experience cooler weather toward week’s end, while a secondary cold front will result in much-below-normal temperatures in the Corn Belt. For example, weekend temperatures could fall to near 40°F in parts of the upper Midwest. For the remainder of the week, heavy precipitation will be focused across the South. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 4 inches from the central High Plains into the lower Southeast, while 1- to 2-inch totals can be expected in the Southwest, upper Midwest, and Atlantic coastal plain. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 29 – August 2 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the majority of the nation, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in coastal New England and the south-central U.S. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in the Atlantic coastal plain and from the northern Plains into the upper Midwest will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the interior Northwest and from the southern Plains into the eastern Corn Belt.