Weather report: Storms help ease drought on the Plains

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In the West, beneficial showers are developing across the interior Northwest, where crop conditions have been declining in recent weeks. On June 16, more than one-third (34%) of Oregon’s winter wheat was rated very poor to poor, while nearly one-quarter (24%) of Washington’s spring wheat was rated very poor to poor. Meanwhile, cooler air is overspreading California, but hot weather persists in parts of the Southwest.

On the Plains, thundershowers are providing some additional drought relief across central and southern areas. However, the storms have also resulted in local wind and hail damage on the central and southern High Plains. Meanwhile on the northern High Plains, warm, dry weather is promoting late-season planting efforts.

In the Corn Belt, significant precipitation is confined to the Ohio Valley, although isolated showers dot areas west of the Mississippi River. By June 16, more than one-fifth of the soybeans had not yet been sown in Missouri (70% planted), Wisconsin (72%), and Iowa (77%).

In the South, widespread showers and thunderstorms extend from Texas to the central and southern Appalachians, slowing fieldwork but maintaining abundant moisture reserves for pastures and summer crops.

Outlook: For the remainder of today, a low-pressure system crossing the Appalachians will remain the focus for showers and thunderstorms in the Southeast, where rainfall could total 1 to 2 inches. Meanwhile, a developing storm over the Northwest will contribute to a gradual increase in shower activity—with 1- to 2-inch totals—across the nation’s northern tier as far east as the upper Midwest. In contrast, little or no rain will fall during the next 5 days in California, the Southwest, and the Mid-South. Elsewhere, late-week heat across the Plains will spread into the Midwest and Northeast during the weekend. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for June 23-27 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, with the greatest likelihood of hot weather expected across the northern Rockies and the Ohio Valley. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather in the southern Rockies, Pacific Northeast, and much of the eastern one-third of the U.S. will contrast with near- to below-normal rainfall elsewhere.

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