Unfavorably wet weather is affecting areas from the Mississippi Valley westward USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility reported Friday. The swollen Mississippi River continues to exert pressure on levees in eastern Missouri and western Illinois, and a new levee break has appeared near Winfield, Missouri. Elsewhere in the country:
- In the West, nearly three dozen wildfire complexes remain active in California, with the largest of the lightning-sparked blazes responsible for charring 30,000 acres of vegetation in Shasta and Trinity Counties. Hot weather prevails in most areas west of the Rockies, but harbingers of the Southwestern summer rainy season (monsoon)—such as increases in cloudiness and humidity—are appearing.
- On the Plains, an active weather pattern is resulting in widespread showers and thunderstorms from the Dakotas southward into northern Oklahoma. However, showers continue to largely bypass the southern half of the High Plains, where pastures, rangeland, and rain-fed summer crops are suffering.
- In the South, very warm, mostly dry weather continues to increase stress on pastures and rain-fed summer crops. Drought has recently re-intensified from eastern Alabama into the Carolinas.
Near-term Outlook: A significant weather pattern change will take place during the next several days. Air flow that has been mostly west-to-east across the U.S. will make the transition to a ridge of high pressure in the West and a trough of low pressure in the East. As a result, showers and thunderstorms will spread from the Midwest into the East and South during the weekend, followed by a period of cooler, drier weather for much of the eastern half of the U.S. Meanwhile, heat will build across the West, while significant rainfall will be confined to the southern Rockies.
Extended Outlook: The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 2-6 calls for below-normal temperatures in the Great Lakes region and along and near the Gulf Coast, while unusually hot weather will prevail in an area from the West stretching across the central Plains. Meanwhile, above-normal rainfall in much of the Midwest, Northeast, and the Gulf Coast region will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in several areas, including California, the Great Basin, and the Mid-South