USDA: A Cold Front to End Midwest Heat Wave

08:11AM Jun 20, 2012

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cooler-than-normal weather prevails. "Showers dot the northern Plains, but rain is still needed on the central and southern Plains to prevent further stress on pastures and rain-fed summer crops," USDA explains.

In the West, USDA says warmth is returning to the Pacific Coast states, but chilly conditions linger across the northern Rockies and northern Intermountain region. "Throughout the West, dry weather favors fieldwork," USDA adds.

In the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are maintaining favorable growing conditions across the upper Midwest, according to USDA. "In stark contrast," the department continues, "more than one-tenth of both corn and soybeans were rated very poor to poor on June 17 in Illinois (13 and 14% very poor to poor, respectively, for corn and soybeans), Indiana (24 and 26%), Michigan (12 and 14%), Missouri (21 and 29%), and Ohio (11 and 15%)."

In the South, USDA says showers are confined to southern portions of Texas and Florida. "Elsewhere, very warm, dry weather prevails," USDA adds. Some of the region's most significant drought concerns exist across the Mid-South, where 56% of the pastures in Arkansas were rated in very poor to poor condition on June 17, according to USDA.

In its outlook, USDA says for the remainder of today, scattered thunderstorms in the vicinity of a cold front will affect the Plains and western Corn Belt. "In advance of the front’s passage, extremely hot, humid weather will prevail across much of the Midwest, South and East," USDA explains. However, it says the front will move across the Midwest and Northeast by late in the week, bringing to an end the early-season heat wave. "Heat will persist, however, across the South and return to the High Plains during the weekend," USDA reports. Elsewhere, scattered showers will affect southern Texas and the Pacific Northwest, while torrential downpours will accompany a potential tropical system across southern Florida, according to USDA.