USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, showers are confined to the far upper Midwest, including the eastern Dakotas. "Elsewhere, the Midwest's worst drought since 1988 continues to expand and intensify — and temperatures are returning to near- or above-normal levels — maintaining severe stress on corn and soybeans," USDA reports.
In the West, USDA says monsoon showers are confined to the Desert Southwest. "Hot weather prevails elsewhere, except in the southern Rockies and along the Pacific Coast," USDA explains. In the Northwest, heat is promoting fieldwork, summer crop development and winter wheat maturation, USDA adds.
On the Plains, USDA says heat is building across the northern half of the region, where today's highs will approach or reach 100°F. "On the northern High Plains, the hot weather is promoting winter wheat maturation but stressing spring-sown small grains," USDA reports. Elsewhere, unfavorably dry weather has returned to the southern Plains, according to USDA.
In the South, rain continues to ease drought, although dry weather has returned to the northwestern corner of the region (e.g., Arkansas), USDA says. "Currently, the heaviest rain is falling from the western Gulf Coast region northeastward into central and eastern Tennessee," it adds.
USDA's outlook says a deep pool of atmospheric moisture over the Southeast will continue to focus drought-easing rainfall. "Additional rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches can be expected from the western Gulf Coast region into the Tennessee Valley," USDA adds. However, USDA says very little rain is forecast to spread north of the Ohio River, which will leave much of the Corn Belt in desperate need of moisture. "Generally light, late-week showers will fall, however, across the upper Midwest," USDA explains. Elsewhere, monsoon showers will expand northward from the Desert Southwest, reaching the northern Rockies by week’s end, according to USDA. "Although much of the nation will not experience extreme heat during the next several days, temperatures across the Plains and Midwest will be high enough to maintain stress on crops in drought-affected areas," USDA reports.