Weather report: Heat builds on the Plains

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In the West, moisture associated with the remnants of former eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Ivo is streaming northeastward across Arizona, southeastern California, southern Nevada, western Colorado, and Utah, increasing the risk of flooding. In contrast, dry weather prevails across northern California and the interior Northwest, where approximately three dozen large wildfires are in various stages of containment.

On the Plains, widely scattered showers are confined to Montana and the Dakotas. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather prevails. Today’s high temperatures will approach or reach 100°F in many parts of the nation’s midsection, possibly as far north as eastern Montana. On the southern High Plains, hot weather and soil moisture shortages are increasing stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops, including cotton.

In the Corn Belt, thunderstorms are affecting the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Michigan. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather is increasing stress on corn and soybeans. Today’s highs will generally range from 85 to 90°F in the eastern Corn Belt, but will top 95°F in some locations from the Mississippi Valley westward.

In the South, favorably drier air has pushed into the southern Atlantic States, except for some lingering showers across southern Florida. Shower activity also lingers along the central and western Gulf Coast.

Outlook: Heat will dominate the nation’s mid-section, including the Plains and much of the Midwest, for the remainder of the week. Tropical moisture will maintain the threat of flooding during the next several days in the Southwest, where 5-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 2 inches or more. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms will regularly affect the nation’s northern tier, producing 1 to 3 inches of rain—along with local wind and hail damage—from the northern Plains into the Northeast. A few showers will affect the western Gulf Coast region, but dry weather will prevail from California to the northern Rockies and from the central and southern Plains into the middle and lower Mississippi Valley. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 31 – September 4 calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures in the Pacific Coast States. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the southern Mid-Atlantic States, the southern Plains, and from California to the northern Rockies.

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