USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather is promoting a rapid crop development pace. "Earlier-planted corn and soybeans have entered the weather-sensitive reproductive stage of development under generally favorable conditions," USDA reports. However, a few dry pockets have begun to develop in the southwestern Corn Belt, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says showers are providing local drought relief in the Four Corners states and the Intermountain region. "Favorably cooler weather prevails, following the record-setting heat of late June and early July," USDA adds.
On the Plains, USDA says hot weather continues to provide mixed results. "On the northern Plains, mostly dry weather and above-normal temperatures are generally favorable for summer crop development and winter wheat maturation and harvesting," USDA explains. Farther south, however, today’s high temperatures will exceed 100°F in many areas from Nebraska to Texas, increasing stress on rangeland, pastures and rain-fed summer crops, USDA elaborates.
In the South, USDA reports hot weather is confined to the western Gulf Coast region, where short-term dryness and above-normal temperatures are stressing summer crops. "Unfavorable dryness has also developed in the Mid-South, in an area centered on Arkansas," USDA details. In contrast, well-watered Southeastern crops continue to receive rain, USDA continues.
In its outlook USDA says an upper-air low over the eastern Ohio Valley will interact with abundant tropical moisture — some of which is associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Chantal — to produce showers and thunderstorms from the Mid-Atlantic region into the Southeast. "The low will stall before accelerating westward, ultimately bringing much-needed rain and cooler temperatures to the southern Plains by early next week," USDA explains. Meanwhile, monsoon showers will continue across the Four Corners region, with some of this moisture contributing to locally heavy showers in the Upper Midwest and northern Plains as well, USDA details. However, portions of the southwestern Corn Belt and central Plains will remain dry, USDA adds. The West’s respite from hot weather will last through the weekend before increasingly hot weather returns early next week, according to USDA.