Weather report: Rain helps cool down Plains

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In the West, a break in the monsoon has allowed mostly dry weather to return to Arizona and New Mexico. However, beneficial showers dot the Intermountain West, while cooler air is overspreading the Northwest.

On the Plains, beneficial showers are easing stress on rangeland, pastures, and summer crops across central portions of the region. Rain is also developing on the northern Plains, slowing winter wheat harvesting but aiding immature, spring-sown small grains.

In the Corn Belt, temperatures are below normal and remain ideal for reproductive corn and soybeans. This morning’s temperatures dipped below 50°F in many Midwestern locations. In addition, showers are overspreading the southwestern Corn Belt, helping to stabilize crop and pasture conditions in areas that have not received much rain in the last 4 to 6 weeks.

In the South, mostly dry weather prevails. Drier conditions are highly beneficial in areas of the Southeast that have received record-setting July rainfall.

Outlook: Tropical Storm Flossie, currently centered about 150 miles east of Hilo, Hawaii, will cross the Big Island later today. Flossie will produce torrential rain, tropical storm-force winds, and heavy surf. Meanwhile in the continental U.S., a disturbance currently crossing the east-central Plains will remain the focus for locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. As the disturbance drifts eastward, rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches from the central Plains to the central Appalachians. Lighter rain, locally 1 to 2 inches, will fall in the East during the mid- to late-week period. Toward week’s end, the monsoon circulation will become re-established in the Southwest, while a band of heavy showers will develop from the Pacific Northwest southeastward into the lower Missouri Valley. The weather will remain cool in many areas of the U.S., although heat will develop across the southern Plains and gradually spread eastward. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 2-6 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in the Northwest and the Deep South. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in southern portions of Texas and Florida, the upper Great Lakes region, and most of the West, will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across much of the Plains, Midwest, South, and Northeast.

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