Scattered thunderstorms are maintaining adequate to locally excessive moisture for summer crops in most areas of the Plains, USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility said Thursday. But, rain is causing some winter wheat harvest disruptions on the southern Plains while drought remains a threat to summer crops across the southern half of the High Plains. Elsewhere in the U.S.:
- In the West, hot weather in California and the Southwest contrasts with near- to below-normal temperatures across the northern half of the region. Dry weather throughout the West favors fieldwork.
- In the Corn Belt, mild and dry conditions are favorable for flood recovery efforts in areas where rivers have crested and fallen. However, high water remains a threat to numerous levees in the mid-Mississippi Valley. Water levels on the Mississippi River near Quincy, Illinois, are erratic due to upstream levee breaks.
- In the South, warm, dry weather continues to gradually increase stress on pastures and rain-fed summer crops, especially in areas mainly from Alabama to the Carolinas that entered the growing season with pre-existing long-term drought.
Near-term Outlook: During the next few days, an amplified weather pattern will result in cool weather in the East and hot weather in the West. Near the boundary between cool and hot air, thunderstorms will continue to develop on the Plains. However, the focus for locally heavy rainfall will briefly shift into the South before reaching the eastern one-third of the U.S. during the weekend. Isolated thunderstorms will also continue on the Plains, but little or no rain will fall into early next week in flooded sections of the Midwest. Dry weather will also prevail west of the Rockies.
Extended Outlook: The National Weather Service 6- to 10-day outlook for June 24-28 calls for above-normal temperatures in the southern Atlantic States and in most areas from the Plains westward, while cooler-than-normal weather will prevail in the western and central Gulf Coast regions and from the eastern Corn Belt into the Northeast. Meanwhile, above-normal rainfall from the central Plains into the Mid-South will contrast with drier-thannormal conditions in the Great Lakes and Northeastern States and across the nation's southern tier.