In the West, significant monsoon activity is confined to Arizona and New Mexico, mainly near the Mexican border. Cool weather lingers in the southern Rockies and along the Pacific Coast, but a heat wave persists across the remainder of the region. In the Northwest, heat favors winter wheat maturation.
On the Plains, beneficial showers are subsiding in southern areas. Elsewhere, unfavorable dryness prevails on the central Plains, while heat covers the northern Plains. On July 8, at least half of the rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor in Colorado (76%), Kansas (71%), Nebraska (59%), and Montana (52%).
In the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies near-normal temperatures. A few showers are crossing the central Corn Belt, with little effect on the drought. On July 8, at least half of the corn, soybeans, and pastures were rated very poor to poor in Indiana (61, 51, and 81%, respectively) and Missouri (60, 54, and 87%).
In the South, a broken line of locally heavy showers stretches from the western Gulf Coast region to the southern Mid-Atlantic States. The rain is aiding pastures and summer crops, especially in the drought-affected Mid-South. Prior to the rain’s arrival, on July 8, at least three-quarters of the pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition in Missouri (87%), Arkansas (85%), Kentucky (76%), and Tennessee (75%).
Outlook: For the remainder of the week, hot weather will persist on the northern High Plains. Above-normal temperatures will also cover much of the West, especially northern areas. Elsewhere, monsoon showers will dot the Southwest and Intermountain West, while the late-week passage of a cold front will spark a few showers across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. However, most of the nation’s significant precipitation will fall in the Southeast, where additional rainfall of at least 2 to 4 inches will provide substantial drought relief. Toward week’s end, much-needed rain may spread as far north as the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic States. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 16-20 calls for hotter-than-normal weather across the northern half of the nation, including the Midwest, while near- to below-normal temperatures will be confined to the nation’s southern tier and areas along the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions in the East, southern Rockies, and along the Gulf Coast will contrast with below-normal rainfall from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains and upper Midwest.