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The Threat of Heavy Rains and Flash Flooding Continues on the Plains

00:00AM Aug 18, 2008 Editors

On the Plains, the threat of heavy rain and flash flooding continues across the southern half of the region, including drought-affected areas from eastern Colorado and western Kansas southward into Texas, USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility reported Monday.  Elsewhere in the U.S.:
  • In the West, isolated showers are confined to northern California and western portions of Washington and Oregon. In the Northwest, hot, dry conditions and the threat of lightning strikes remain a concern with respect to wildfire activity.
  • In the Corn Belt, warm, dry weather and generally adequate soil moisture reserves are maintaining nearly ideal growing conditions for the majority of summer crops
  • In the South, Tropical Storm Fay is bearing down on Florida, while scattered showers are developing in the western Gulf Coast region. Dry weather elsewhere in the South favors fieldwork and crop development. At 8 a.m. EDT, Fay was located over the northern coast of Cuba, about 100 miles southsoutheast of Key West, Florida. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 m.p.h. Heavy showers and wind gusts above 30 m.p.h. are already overspreading southern Florida.

See map of all U.S. weather activity.

Near-term Outlook: Fay will make landfall in Florida on Tuesday, most likely as a tropical storm or a category 1 hurricane. Heavy rain and potentially damaging winds will precede and accompany Fay's path, which may cross some of Florida's citrus and sugarcane areas. There is considerable uncertainty about Fay's eventual track, but excessive rainfall may occur in the Southeast. Meanwhile, showers will continue across the southcentral U.S., but the heaviest rain will gradually shift toward the western Gulf Coast region. Elsewhere, cooler weather and scattered showers will arrive in the Northwest, while mostly dry weather will continue across the remainder of the West.

Extended Outlook: The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for August 23-27 calls for above-normal rainfall in the East, while drier-than-normal weather will prevail in most areas west of the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, cooler-than-normal weather in the Southeast will contrast with near- to above-normal temperatures elsewhere.  Hot weather will be most likely in New England and west of the Rockies.

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