In the West, isolated showers are mostly confined to the Four Corners States. Elsewhere, including California and the Northwest, hot, dry weather favors fieldwork and summer crop maturation.
On the Plains, drought-easing showers are heaviest in Kansas, where cooler weather prevails. Unfavorably hot conditions linger, however, across Texas and northern High Plains. On August 12, rangeland and pastures rated very poor to poor ranged from 43% in North Dakota to 92% in Nebraska.
In the Corn Belt, cooler-than-normal weather prevails. Showers are exiting the eastern Corn Belt but returning to westernmost portions of the region. The recent turn toward cooler, wetter weather continues to benefit pastures and some soybeans. On August 12, rangeland and pastures rated very poor to poor ranged from 37% in Minnesota to 98% in Missouri.
In the South, scattered showers continue to aid pastures and immature summer crops. On August 12, at least 40% of the pastures were rated in good to excellent condition in every Gulf and Atlantic Coast State from Louisiana to the Carolinas.
Outlook: A series of cold fronts will continue to produce drought-easing rainfall from the Plains to the East Coast. During the next 5 days, rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches can be expected from the southern Plains into the Southeast, while as much as 1 to 3 inches may fall in the Northeast. Smaller amounts of rain will fall across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest, where only scattered locations will receive more than an inch. Elsewhere, continuing hot weather west of the Rockies will contrast with generally cool conditions from the Plains eastward. Parts of the Great Lakes region will experience a string of days with high temperatures below 70°F starting later this week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 19-23 calls for below-normal temperatures in drought-affected areas of the Plains, Midwest, and Mid-South, while warmer-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Rio Grande Valley, the northern Atlantic Coast, and most areas west of the Rockies. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across the lower Southeast.