Weather report: Very warm and mostly dry on the Plains

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In the West, generous monsoon rains continue to ease drought but cause local flash flooding in the Four Corners States. In contrast, hot, dry weather prevails in northern California, where several new wildfires are burning. Hot, dry conditions also cover the Northwest, where Washington led the nation with 20% of its intended winter wheat acreage planted by September 8.

On the Plains, very warm, mostly dry weather prevails, except for a few showers in Nebraska and South Dakota. By September 8, winter wheat planting was underway in all of the Plains’ major production states, with progress ranging from 2 to 13% complete. However, soil moisture shortages remain a concern in several areas, including the central and southern High Plains.

In the Corn Belt, a few showers stretch from the upper Great Lakes region into Nebraska. However, most of the Midwest continues to experience unfavorably hot, dry weather. In Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, 20 to 30% of both the corn and soybeans were rated in very poor to poor condition on September 8.

In the South, isolated showers are confined to southern Florida and the western Gulf Coast region. Elsewhere, very warm, mostly dry weather is promoting summer crop maturation and harvesting. Dry weather remains favorable in the previously waterlogged Southeast, where cotton bolls were 13 to 35% open on September 8.

Outlook: A late-season heat wave will continue through mid-week across the Midwest. During the second half of the week, markedly cooler air will arrive in most areas east of the Rockies—although heat will linger across the Deep South. Hot conditions will also persist in northern California, the northern High Plains, and the Northwest. Meanwhile, a late-season monsoon surge will maintain the threat of flooding in the Southwest, particularly in the southern Rockies. Heavy rain will also spill onto the central High Plains. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in the central and southern Rockies and the central High Plains, while 1- to 3-inch amounts may occur in the Northeast and southern sections of Florida and Texas. Only light showers will occur, however, in the Midwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 15-19 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and rainfall across the majority of the nation. In fact, cooler- and drier-than-normal conditions will be limited to the Northeast.

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