In the West, sunny skies are favoring cotton and rice development in California and Arizona. Northwestern winter wheat is benefiting from additional rainfall, while showers are aiding wildfire containment in the Rockies.

On the Plains, a weak frontal boundary is separating blistering heat (100-110°F, locally higher) across the southern half of the region from cooler conditions over the northern Plains. Showers are developing along the front in Nebraska and South Dakota, but much more rain is needed for pastures and summer crops.

In the Corn Belt, intensifying heat and dryness are elevating concern for corn and soybeans over the central Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. As of June 26, approximately 49 percent of the nations’ corn and 50 percent of the soybeans are now under varying degrees drought. Extreme heat (100°F or greater) and gusty winds are rapidly depleting already-bleak soil moisture supplies and causing high levels of stress on reproductive corn, soybeans, and other summer crops across Missouri and southern portions of the Ohio Valley. In contrast, much-needed showers are falling in the western Corn Belt, where crop prospects remain generally favorable.

In the South, dry, hot weather is accelerating crop development but exacerbating drought in the Southeast and northern Delta. Flood recovery efforts continue in northern Florida following recent excessive rainfall.

Outlook: A weak frontal boundary will generate showers and thunderstorms from the north-central Plains into the central Corn Belt and Mid-Atlantic States. South of the front, dry, hot weather (highs approaching or exceeding 100°F) will persist from the southern Plains to the central and southern Atlantic Coast, including the southern Corn Belt. North of the front, somewhat cooler conditions will prevail, particularly across the Great Lakes and upper Midwest. Farther west, monsoon showers and thunderstorms will dot the Four Corners, while a cold front will bring light rain to the Northwest; the remainder of the western U.S. will remain dry. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 4-8 calls for warmer- and drier-than-normal weather across much of the nation. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Pacific Coast States, Southwest, and southern Florida, while chances for abovenormal precipitation will be greatest in the Southwest and the Great Lakes Region.