In the West, mostly dry weather prevails during a lull in the monsoon. Heat is gradually building across the Southwest and persists in the Northwest, where small grain harvesting continues but wildfire development or expansion remains a concern.

On the Plains, scattered showers and thunderstorms are generally benefiting pastures and summer crops. However, flooding remains a concern in a broad area centered on Oklahoma, while showers are slowing small grain harvest activities on the northern Plains. In contrast, hot, dry weather lingers across Texas—excluding

In the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails in the wake of recent showers. This morning’s low temperatures ranged from 40 to 50°F in the northwestern Corn Belt. Midwestern crop concerns include persistent pockets of dryness in the western Corn Belt and delayed corn and soybean maturity due to late planting and cool weather.

In the South, scattered showers are affecting several areas, including the Mid-South. Elsewhere, unfavorably hot, dry weather in the drought-affected western Gulf Coast region contrasts with favorably hot, dry weather in the well-watered southern Atlantic States.

Outlook: Heat will continue to build across the West and expand onto the northern High Plains, but near- to below-normal temperatures will prevail through week’s end across the eastern half of the U.S. Meanwhile, precipitation associated with a cold front will settle into the Southeast and persist for several days. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 3 to 5 inches or more across the lower Southeast, while an additional 1 to 2 inches could fall in Oklahoma and environs. Little or no precipitation can be expected through week’s end in the Midwest and west of the Rockies. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 18-22 calls for above-normal temperatures across the northern and western U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to areas from the central and southern Plains into the Southeast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Southeast.