In the West, scattered monsoon showers stretch from the Arizona-New Mexico border northward into the Intermountain region. In addition, much cooler weather prevails in the wake of last week’s heat wave.
On the Plains, another crop- and pasture-withering heat wave is underway. Sunday’s high temperatures generally ranged from 95 to 110°F, except for somewhat cooler conditions on the northern High Plains, and similar readings can be expected again today.
In the Corn Belt, weekend showers provided only limited and localized relief from the worst drought since 1988. Today’s temperatures will again peak near 95°F in many sections of the Midwest, with a few readings near 100°F possible in the western Corn Belt.
In the South, summer crops and pastures continue to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements, despite a return to very warm, mostly dry weather. Last week’s rainfall totaled 4 inches or more in many locations from the western Gulf Coast region into the southern Appalachians.
Outlook: Heat has returned to the Plains and Midwest and will persist for much of the week. Triple-digit (100- degree) heat will continue indefinitely on the central Plains and occasionally spread to the northern and southern Plains and the western Corn Belt. Later in the week, portions of the eastern Corn Belt may experience temporary relief from highs above 90°F. Showers and thunderstorms will accompany the eastern Corn Belt’s transition to slightly cooler weather, although rainfall amounts will be mostly less than an inch. Like last week, more substantial rainfall will occur mostly south of the Ohio River, where 1- to 3-inch totals can be expected across the Southeast. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather on the central and southern Plains will contrast with scattered showers in the Four Corners region and across the nation’s northern tier. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 21-25 calls for hotterthan- normal weather nationwide, except along the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal conditions across the vast majority of the U.S. will contrast with pockets of above-normal rainfall in the central and southern Appalachians and the upper Great Lakes region.