USDA: Cooler, Drier Air for Upper Midwest

August 7, 2013 03:37 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, cooler, drier air is overspreading the upper Midwest, where rain is still needed to stabilize crop prospects. Meanwhile, showers associated with a cold front are sweeping into the eastern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, locally heavy showers are affecting central portions of the region, including parts of Kansas. However, hot weather continues to adversely affect rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops on the southern Plains, where today’s high temperatures will again exceed 100°F, USDA states.

In the South, hot, dry weather prevails from the Delta westward, USDA says. Meanwhile, showers are returning to the Southeast, maintaining adequate to locally excessive soil moisture for pastures and summer crops.

In the West, spotty showers continue in the Four Corners States, USDA reports. Despite a robust monsoon season, more than two-thirds of the rangeland and pastures were in very poor to poor condition on August 4 in California (85%), Arizona (82%), Nevada (67%), and New Mexico (67%). Elsewhere, cool weather prevails in California, but hot, dry weather across the interior Northwest favors summer crop maturation and winter wheat harvesting, USDA concludes.

In its outlook, USDA says a series of cold fronts will continue to sweep southeastward from central Canada, maintaining near- to below-normal temperatures across the Midwest. Toward week’s end, cool air will reach as far south as northern Texas, while warmth will briefly overspread the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. However, the fronts will not be able to push into the Deep South, where hot weather will persist, USDA states. The boundary between cool and hot air will remain the focus for heavy rain, with 2 to 4 inches of additional rainfall possible by week’s end from the central Plains into the northern Mid-Atlantic States. Elsewhere, hot weather across the interior Northwest will contrast with cool weather in California and occasional showers in the Southwest, USDA comments.

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