Weather report: Heat returns to the Plains

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In the West, showers associated with the monsoon circulation are heaviest in Arizona. Meanwhile in the Northwest, hot, dry weather continues to promote summer crop development and winter wheat harvesting. Idaho’s winter wheat harvest was 38% complete on August 4, compared to the 5-year average of 15%.

On the Plains, hot, dry weather is bringing renewed stress to rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops in Texas and Oklahoma. Today’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 105°F across portions of the southern Plains. Meanwhile, showers dot eastern portions of the northern and central Plains.

In the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are generally confined to western and southwestern sections of the region, including central and southern Missouri and eastern parts of Nebraska and the Dakotas. However, more rain is needed in the heart of the western Corn Belt. On August 4, Missouri and Iowa led the nation with 15 and 14% of the soybeans, respectively, rated in very poor to poor condition.

In the South, heavy showers are causing flash flooding in parts of the Mid-South, including south-central Missouri. Widely scattered showers are affecting the Southeast, although most areas are getting a reprieve from July’s incessant rainfall. On August 4, Florida led the Southeast with topsoil moisture rated 36% surplus.

Outlook: During the next several days, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms will occur in the vicinity of a frontal boundary separating cool air across the northern Plains and Midwest and hot weather in the Deep South. The axis of heaviest rain will stretch from the central Plains to the northern Mid-Atlantic States, including the Ohio Valley, with 2 to 4 inches possible. Only spotty showers will affect the northern Plains and upper Midwest, while little or no rain will occur in much of Texas and the Far West. Heat will gradually shift from the southern Plains into the Southeast, but generally cool conditions will prevail across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest. Hot weather will persist across the interior Northwest, but other areas west of the Rockies will experience cool conditions. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 11-15 calls for below-normal temperatures along the Pacific Coast and from the Midwest into the Northeast, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the south-central U.S. and the interior Northwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across the majority of the nation will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Great Lakes region and parts of the Southwest.

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