In the West, hot, dry weather prevails, except for persistently cool conditions along the Pacific Coast and a surge of cool air into the eastern slopes of the northern Rockies. Harvesting of Northwestern small grains is quickly advancing, but wildfires continue in the Great Basin and northern Intermountain West.

On the Plains, scattered showers accompany sharply cooler, breezy conditions across Montana and the Dakotas. Today's high temperatures will remain below 60°F in parts of Montana. Meanwhile, beneficial showers dot the southern Plains, although much more rain is needed to stabilize the condition of rangeland, pastures, and immature summer crops.

In the Corn Belt, mild, mostly dry weather prevails in advance of a strong cold front. Recent rains have been especially impressive in the eastern Corn Belt, where pastures and some soybeans have benefited from topsoil moisture improvements.

In the South, a few showers and thunderstorms linger, mainly in the southern Atlantic region. In the Gulf and Atlantic Coast States, July and August rainfall has revived pastures and aided immature summer crops.

Outlook: An autumn-like cold front currently crossing the northern Plains will race eastward, reaching the Atlantic Coast late in the week. Rainfall associated with the front's passage could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, in the Northeast and from the southern Plains into the Southeast. Only scattered, generally light showers can be expected, however, across the northern and central Plains and much of the Midwest, followed by an extended period of cool weather in the cold front's wake. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather will continue west of the Rockies, except for a few showers in the Southwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 20-24 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures and precipitation across the majority of the U.S. Warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to the northern Atlantic Coast and parts of the West, while wetter-than-normal conditions will be limited to the Atlantic Coast States and the Gulf Coast region.