USDA: Cooler Temps, Precip Ahead for Midwest & Plains

July 5, 2012 03:17 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are rolling across the northern edge of a ridge of high pressure that continues to produce crop-damaging heat. "On the Fourth of July, high temperatures reached or exceeded 100°F across the majority of the Corn Belt, severely stressing reproductive corn and soybeans," USDA explains. Similar Midwestern temperatures can be expected again today, it adds.

In the West, USDA reports a rich feed of monsoon moisture is producing showers from the Four Corners States to the Intermountain region. "Higher humidity levels and scattered showers are aiding wildfire containment efforts," USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says isolated but highly beneficial showers and thunderstorms are affecting areas from Nebraska northward. "However, extreme heat continued to severely stress both rain-fed and irrigated summer crops on the central Plains," USDA adds. Temperatures are not as high on the southern Plains, although unfavorably dry weather prevails, according to USDA.

In the South, USDA says hot weather continues to promote a rapid crop development pace. "However, drought remains a significant problem in several areas, particularly in an area centered on Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel," USDA reports.

USDA's outlook says a significant change in the nation’s overall weather pattern is on the horizon. Toward week’s, significant cooling will arrive across the central Plains and the upper Midwest, USDA elaborates. "By early next week, the cooling trend will reach the southern Plains, the Mid-South, the southern and eastern Corn Belt, and the Mid-Atlantic states," USDA adds. Widespread showers and locally severe thunderstorms will accompany the surge of cooler air, although only light rain will fall across the driest areas of the Midwest, according to USDA. "In contrast, 1- to 3-inch rainfall totals can be expected in the Southeast and from the southern Rockies into the upper Midwest," USDA reports. "Meanwhile, heat will appear across the Northwest during the weekend and expand to encompass the northern High Plains and the remainder of the West — excluding the central and southern Rockies — early next week," USDA says.


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