USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a slow-moving cold front is generating showers from western Iowa into the upper Midwest. "The progress of this front will determine how much rain reaches the central and eastern Corn Belt, where soil moisture remains limited for corn and soybeans," USDA explains.
In the West, USDA says sunny, albeit cooler, weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development. "However, dry conditions are maintaining the threat of wildfire development and expansion in parts of the Intermountain West; a red-flag warning is currently in effect for northern California," USDA reports.
On the Plains, USDA says locally heavy showers and thunderstorms in central growing areas are benefiting pastures, summer crops, and heading to filling winter wheat. "The rain, however, is hampering winter wheat drydown and harvesting," USDA adds. Showers are also developing across southern portions of the region, providing additional drought relief in Texas and Oklahoma, according to USDA.
In the South, USDA reports showers and thunderstorms linger along the Gulf Coast and in the lower Southeast, providing additional relief from long-term drought. "However, more rain is needed across the drought-affected Mid-South for reproductive corn and other summer crops," USDA explains.
USDA's outlook says rainy weather currently benefiting the western Corn Belt will gradually expand eastward through the weekend, although the amount and coverage of rainfall is expected to diminish upon reaching the Ohio Valley. "High pressure will keep much of the Eastern Seaboard unseasonably cool and dry," USDA adds. Except for lingering showers along the Gulf Coast, dryness will also dominate the Southeast, with highs reaching the 90s (°F) in the lower Mississippi Valley, according to USDA. "Heat will intensify over the weekend in California and the Southwest, as mostly dry conditions continue from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast," USDA elaborates.