USDA: Heat to Re-Intensify in Upper Midwest

August 21, 2013 03:35 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, hot weather prevails in advance of an approaching cold front. "Today’s high temperatures will approach or reach 90°F in many locations," USDA elaborates. Isolated showers are developing, but most Midwestern summer crops are in need of rain due to a dry spell that has lasted 1 to 2 months, USDA reports.

In the West, USDA says cooler air is beginning to spread inland, accompanied by widely scattered showers. "However, appreciable rain has not yet reached into northern and central California and the Northwest, where approximately five dozen large wildfires—in various stages of containment—are burning," USDA reports. Warm, dry conditions in the Northwest continue to promote small grain maturation and harvesting, USDA explains.

On the Plains, USDA says showers are confined to a narrow band stretching across Nebraska and South Dakota. "To the north, slightly cooler air is overspreading Montana and the Dakotas," USDA explains. Elsewhere, dry weather is maintaining stress on rain-fed crops, including cotton, on the southern High Plains, USDA adds.

In the South, USDA reports unsettled weather continues, primarily along the Gulf Coast and from the Appalachians to the southern Atlantic Coast. "In the Southeast, cloudy, showery weather is hampering fieldwork and remains a concern with respect to the quality of fruits, vegetables and row crops," USDA details.

In its outlook, USDA says a late-summer warm spell will persist nearly nationwide through week’s end. Late-week temperatures will fall to near-normal levels in the Northeast and far West, but a re-intensification of heat across the northern Plains and upper Midwest will regularly push readings toward 95°F. "Meanwhile, scattered showers and thunderstorms will rotate around a large ridge of high pressure centered over the nation’s mid-section," USDA continues. During the next five days, little or no rain will fall across the central and southern Plains and the Mid-South, but localized 1- to 2-inch totals can be expected in many other areas, including the lower Southeast, the upper Midwest, the Four Corners States and northern New England, according to USDA.

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