Showers Persist in Central, Southern Plains

August 7, 2008 07:00 PM Editors

Showers continue in portions of the central and southern High Plains, which are providing some relief from extreme to locally exceptional drought, USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility said Friday. Hot, dry weather favors small grain harvesting on the northern Plains but is worsening North Dakota's extreme drought. Elsewhere in the U.S.:

  • In the South, cooler weather is spreading into the Gulf and southern Atlantic Coast States. However, showers and thunderstorms associated with a cold front are aiding pastures and immature summer crops across southern portions of the region, with the heaviest rain currently falling in parts of Louisiana.
  • In the West, monsoon showers continue in the Four Corners States. Elsewhere, hot, generally dry weather favors crop development and fieldwork, including Northwestern small grain harvesting. However, the Northwest remains at risk for new wildfire development due to lightning strikes.
  • In the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather continues to promote rapid corn and soybean development.

Near-term Outlook: A combination of monsoon moisture, the remnants of Tropical Storm Edouard, and a stalled frontal boundary will lead to locally heavy rain from the southern half of the Rockies southeastward into the Delta and eastern Gulf Coast region. Meanwhile, a pronounced trof (southward dip in the jet stream) will maintain below-normal temperatures over the northeastern quarter of the Nation, with wet weather in New England contrasting with generally dry conditions from the central Corn Belt into the southern Mid-Atlantic States. Elsewhere, a slow-moving cold front will bring the threat of showers and thunderstorms to central and northern portions of the Rockies and Great Plains, while heat gradually builds over much of the West.

Extended Outlook: The National Weather Service 6- to 10-day outlook for August 13-17 calls for below-normal temperatures from the central and southern Rockies into the Great Lakes States, with hotter-than-normal weather confined to the Atlantic and Gulf Coast States. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions are anticipated across much of the southern and eastern U.S., while below-normal rainfall is expected west of the Rockies.

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