In the West, a flood watch remains in effect for southern New Mexico for the possibility of additional heavy showers. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather accompanies gradually building heat. In the Northwest, hot, dry weather favors winter wheat maturation and initial harvest efforts.

On the Plains, beneficial showers linger across western and southern Texas, where relatively cool weather prevails. Farther north, rain is needed for rangeland, pastures, and summer crops on the central Plains, while dry weather favors summer crop growth and winter wheat maturation and harvesting on the northern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, heat advisories remain in effect for the combination of hot weather and high humidity. Today’s high temperatures will again range from 90 to 95°F in many areas, except 95 to 100°F in parts of the western Corn Belt. In addition, short-term dryness in the southwestern Corn Belt—including parts of Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska—is increasing stress on reproductive corn and soybeans.

In the South, scattered showers across the lower Mississippi Valley are providing local relief from short-term dryness. However, much of the Mid-South—including Arkansas—remains unfavorably dry. Elsewhere, showers continue across southern Florida, while the well-watered southern Atlantic States are experiencing hot, humid weather.

Outlook: An ongoing heat wave in the Northeast will continue into the weekend before ending. Cooler air will also overspread the Midwest, preceded and accompanied by locally severe thunderstorms on July 18-19. The threat of severe weather will shift into the Ohio Valley and the Northeast on July 20. Widespread showers in advance of the surge of cooler air will result in 1- to 3-inch rainfall totals across the eastern one-third of the U.S. Five-day totals of 1 to 2 inches may occur in the Four Corners States, but hot, mostly dry weather will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains. The southern Plains will experience a return to dry weather. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 23-27 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and rainfall across the majority of the U.S. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be limited to southern Florida and the Northeast, while drier-than-normal weather will be confined to the High Plains and the Northwest.