Weather report: Heat builds on the Plains

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In the West, widely scattered showers are affecting southern California, the southern Great Basin, and the Desert Southwest. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather favors summer crop maturation and fieldwork, including Northwestern winter wheat harvesting. However, numerous wildfires remain active in the Northwest.

On the Plains, dry weather accompanies building heat. Today’s high temperatures will approach 100°F as far north as eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Heat favors crop development and fieldwork, but is increasing stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops.

In the Corn Belt, isolated showers are confined to the upper Mississippi Valley. Midwestern soil moisture continues to gradually diminish, with the most acute shortages noted across Iowa (excluding the northeast), northern Missouri, and neighboring areas. Meanwhile, cool weather lingers across the Ohio Valley, but very warm weather across the northern and western Corn Belt is promoting corn and soybean development.

In the South, dry weather in the drought-affected western Gulf Coast region contrasts with ongoing showers in the well-watered Southeast. Currently, some of the heaviest showers are affecting the Carolinas.

Outlook: Dry, hotter weather will prevail for the remainder of the week from the central and southern Plains into the Mid-South. In contrast, heat will be slower to arrive in the Southeast, where additional rainfall could total 1 to 2 inches. Occasional showers in the Southwest and mid- to late-week rainfall in the upper Midwest will result in local totals in excess of an inch. At the same time, most of the nation will be experiencing near- to above-normal temperatures. Temperatures will remain below 95°F in most of the Corn Belt, but readings will briefly top 100°F as far north as the Dakotas. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 24-28 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions along and near the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in California, the Great Basin, and the central and southern Plains.


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