In the West, isolated showers are confined to the southern Rockies. Meanwhile, cool weather persists along the Pacific Coast. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather is promoting crop growth and fieldwork, including Northwestern small grain harvesting.

On the Plains, cool weather in Montana and the Dakotas contrasts with lingering heat in parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Scattered but highly beneficial showers dot the central and southern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, hot weather persists in the Ohio Valley, but cool air covers the upper Midwest. Thunderstorms in the vicinity of a cold front stretch from the lower Great Lakes region into the middle Mississippi Valley. Later today, highs above 90°F will be limited to the southern Corn Belt, in stark contrast to Wednesday’s readings—which reached 106°F in Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Columbia, Missouri.

In the South, hot, dry conditions are bringing renewed stress to pastures and immature summer crops that had been benefiting from an extended period of showery weather.

Outlook: A cold front currently stretching from the Great Lakes region to Texas will continue to move southeastward, preceded and accompanied by showers and locally severe thunderstorms. Event-total rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches from the Ohio Valley into the northern Mid-Atlantic States and southern New England, but generally lighter amounts will fall across the southern and eastern Corn Belt. The front will stall across the South, where hot weather will persist. During the weekend, heat will also begin to rebuild across the Plains. By early next week, above-normal temperatures will again prevail in most areas east of the Rockies. Elsewhere, a resurgent monsoon circulation will continue to generate thunderstorms in the Four Corners States, while scattered showers can be expected to return to the southern and western Corn Belt during the weekend. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 31 – August 4 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-thannormal conditions along the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall on the central and southern Plains and from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the upper Midwest southeastward into the Mid-Atlantic States, including much of the Corn Belt.