In the West, isolated showers are mostly confined to the central and southern Rockies. Warm weather is returning to the interior Northwest, but cool conditions persist along the Pacific Coast.

On the Plains, crop-withering heat persists across central and southern portions of the region, where many locations will again record highs above 100°F. In contrast, favorably cooler air is overspreading the northern Plains, preceded and accompanied by scattered showers and thunderstorms. The rain is causing minor spring wheat harvest delays.

In the Corn Belt, a final day of excessively hot weather (highs of 100°F or greater) is further damaging Midwestern corn and soybeans. Only the far northern and eastern portions of the region will be able to avoid today’s extreme heat. Meanwhile, locally severe thunderstorms continue to roll across the northern tier of the Corn Belt, mainly from the Dakotas into Wisconsin.

In the South, thundershowers are mainly confined to the southern Appalachians and surrounding areas. The remainder of the region is experiencing hot, dry weather, bringing renewed stress to pastures and immature summer crops.

Outlook: A fairly significant cold front currently crossing the northern Plains and the upper Midwest will punch through the remainder of the Plains and Midwest by late Thursday before stalling across the South toward week’s end. Showers and locally severe thunderstorms will precede and accompany the front’s passage, although drought relief will be spotty. Some heavier rain (1 to 3 inches or more) can be expected from the upper Great Lakes region into the Northeast. The front will not push far enough to bring appreciable heat relief to the South. Meanwhile, only short-lived relief can be expected across the nation’s mid-section, where hot weather will return to the High Plains during the weekend. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 30 – August 3 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions along the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in Arizona and from the upper Mississippi Valley into the Mid-Atlantic States.