Weather report: Still dry and hot on the Plains

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In the West, the most significant shower activity is shifting across the interior Northwest, where moisture is causing minor fieldwork delays but aiding wildfire containment efforts. Hot weather prevails throughout the West, except along the Pacific Coast.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather accompanies late-season heat. Today’s highs will approach or reach 100°F as far north as western Nebraska. The heat is promoting summer crop maturation and fieldwork, including winter wheat planting preparations. In Oklahoma, 45% of the wheat seedbed preparation was complete by September 1. However, heat is also increasing stress on rangeland, pastures, and immature summer crops.

In the Corn Belt, unfavorably dry weather persists. In addition, late-season heat is returning to the western Corn Belt, further reducing the yield potential of immature corn and soybeans. On September 1, more than onefifth of the corn and soybeans were rated very poor to poor in Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

In the South, showers are confined to Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, warm, dry conditions are promoting summer crop maturation and harvesting. The rice harvest, underway in the Delta, was 5% complete in Mississippi by September 1. Dry weather is especially favorable in the previously waterlogged Southeast.

Outlook: Heat will affect the majority of the U.S. through week’s end. In fact, record-setting heat will dominate the northern and central Plains and upper Midwest, where temperatures will average as much as 10 to 20°F above normal. In contrast, cool air will overspread the lower Great Lakes region and the Northeast, where late-week temperatures may briefly dip below 40°F. Meanwhile, little or no rain will fall during the next 5 days across the central and southern Plains and the Mid-South. Showers will dot the northern one-third of the U.S., including parts of the Midwest. Showers will also affect the Southwest and areas along and near the Gulf Coast. Heavier rain (locally 1 to 3 inches) will fall across the northern High Plains and the Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 9-13 calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures from the middle Mississippi Valley into the Northeast. Meanwhile, above-normal rainfall from the Southwest into the Great Lakes region will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in much of the South and Northwest.

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