According to the National Drought Monitor, 83% of the Midwest is covered by drought, compared to 74.5% last week and 3% last year at this time. While rains were seen over the northernmost Plains and Great Lakes region, the immediate Ohio Valley, and a good chunk of the Southeast and interior mid-Atlantic, the heavier amounts were fairly isolated, and with the hot weather that covered much of the central and eastern United States, only a few scattered areas of dryness and drought experienced significant improvement.
"In addition, the areas with the greatest temperature anomalies (average daily maxima 10 to 13 degrees above normal) generally coincided with an area of scant rainfall across the Midwest, northwestern Ohio Valley, and southern Great Plains, resulting in another week of widespread deterioration and expansion of dryness and drought in these regions," it states.
Some Much-Needed Rain in the Forecast
In the outlook, the monitor notes: "Moderate to heavy rain could be on tap for at least part of the areas covered by dryness and drought during July 11-16, 2012. More than an inch is forecast across a large swath from southern and eastern Texas eastward across the Gulf Coast and Florida, and northeastward through the lower Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee Valleys, the central and southern Appalachians, and much of the south Atlantic states north of central Georgia. Three to five inches are possible in southeastern Texas and adjacent Louisiana, across the upper Southeast, in the lower Ohio Valley, and the Tennessee Valley as far east as the Appalachian foothills. Moderate rain (0.5 to 1.0 inch) is forecast for the mid-Atlantic, lower Northeast, part of the northern Plains, and a few spots in the central and southern Rockies. Light rain should prevail in other dry areas, except in the southwestern Great Lakes region, the middle Mississippi Valley, and the central and south-central Plains, where little or none is anticipated. Temperatures should continue their moderating trend, with somewhat above-normal readings confined to the Northeast, the northern Rockies and Intermountain West, and the northern half of the High Plains."
For July 17-21, 2012, the monitor states odds favor above normal rain from the upper Mississippi Valley southeastward to the South Carolina Coast and eastward through lower New England. "Southeastern Texas and the southeastern Rockies also have enhanced chances for above normal rainfall. In contrast, the northern Rockies are expected to measure sub-normal rainfall totals, as are areas from western Utah and Arizona westward through California," it states.
Juli says: The forecast favors rains for the eastern and southern Corn Belt -- which badly need it. But there's little rain in the forecast for the western Corn Belt.