In the West, unusually warm weather is confined to the interior Northwest, where the winter wheat harvest is just getting underway. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather accompanies below-normal temperatures.

On the Plains, extremely hot weather is maintaining severe stress on pastures and summer crops, especially across central portions of the region. Today’s high temperatures will generally range from 100 to 105°F on the central Plains, but cooler air and some thundershowers continue to overspread the Dakotas.

In the Corn Belt, heat and drought continue to reduce yield and production potential for corn and soybeans. Today’s high temperatures will again approach or reach 100°F in the southern Corn Belt. Somewhat cooler air is beginning to overspread the northern tier of the Corn Belt, accompanied by a few thundershowers.

In the South, beneficial showers are occurring in several areas, including southern Texas and the Southeast. However, drought continues to adversely affect pastures and summer crops in the Mid-South. On July 15, for example, nearly all of the pastures were rated very poor to poor in Missouri (92%) and Arkansas (83%).

Outlook: During the second half of the week, a weak cold front will cross the eastern Corn Belt and the Mid- Atlantic States. Rainfall associated with the cold front’s passage could reach 1 to 2 inches in parts of Indiana and Ohio. More substantial showers will affect the Southeast, where widespread 1- to 3-inch totals can be expected. Farther west, however, extreme heat and dry conditions will persist into next week across the central Plains and neighboring regions, where high temperatures may approach 110°F at times. Elsewhere, temperatures will gradually rebound to near-normal levels in the West, accompanied by a few showers in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 23-27 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions along the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across most of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Four Corners region.