Weather report: Showers to bring relief to Midwest and Plains

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In the West, an enhanced risk of wildfires continues in the Four Corners States, where warm, dry, breezy weather prevails. Cool air covers the remainder of the region, while beneficial showers dot the Northwest.

On the Plains, markedly cooler air is overspreading Montana, accompanied by scattered showers. In recent days, prior to the weather change, producers on the northern Plains were able to plant most of their remaining spring wheat acreage. Farther south, hot weather has returned to the central and southern High Plains, bringing renewed stress to rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops. On June 16, Texas led the nation with nearly one-third (31%) of its cotton rated very poor to poor.

In the Corn Belt, the last several days have been favorable for crop development and final soybean planting efforts. Although much of the region remains dry, accompanied by a turn toward above-normal temperatures, strong thunderstorms are sweeping across the upper Midwest. The storms are affecting Wisconsin, which on June 16 had 28% of its soybeans left to plant and led the nation with 25% of its corn not yet emerged.

In the South, warm, mostly dry weather favors crop development and fieldwork, including final cotton and peanut planting operations. Widely scattered showers linger across the lower Southeast.

Outlook: During the next 5 days, mostly dry weather will prevail across the southern half of the U.S., except for scattered showers (locally 1 to 3 inches) in the southern Atlantic States and environs. Meanwhile, frequent showers across the nation’s northern tier could result in 2- to 4-inch totals in the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Heat will continue to build east of the Rockies, excluding the northern High Plains, during the next several days, while generally cool conditions will prevail in the West. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for June 26-30 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Southeast and along the northern Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across much of the Plains and northern Intermountain West will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather east of the Mississippi River, along the Gulf Coast, in the Pacific Northwest, and parts of the Southwest.

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