USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, heat continues to arrive from the north and west. "Today’s high temperatures will exceed 90°F in the westernmost Corn Belt, fostering the development of late-planted corn and soybeans," USDA details. "Diminishing topsoil moisture remains a concern for summer crops; Iowa led the nation with 17% of its soybeans rated very poor to poor on Aug. 18, while Missouri led the Midwest with 20% of its corn rated very poor to poor," it continues.
In the West, USDA says monsoon shower activity is widely scattered. "In addition, hot weather persists, except along the Pacific Coast. On August 18, California led the U.S. with 95% of its rangeland and pastures rated very poor to poor, followed by Arizona (67%), Nevada (67%), New Mexico (64%), Colorado (50%), and Oregon (50%)," USDA continues. Dozens of large wildfires conti nue to burn, especially across northern California and the interior Northwest, USDA reports.
On the Plains, USDA says hot, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development. "Most of the nation’s mid- section has received appreciable rainfall in recent weeks, but for those areas with lingering soil moisture shortages—including the southern High Plains —heat is stressing rain-fed summer crops," USDA continues.
In the South, unsettled weather continues, USDA reports. "Clouds and a few showers are most prevalent in the soggy Southeast, although some rain is also falling along the Gulf Coast," USDA explains. Cotton bolls are beginning to open in the Southeast and will soon require drier weather to prevent degradations in crop quality, according to USDA.
In its outlook, USDA says late-summer heat will dominate much of the nation for the remainder of the week. "Cool conditions will linger, however, in the Southeast and along the Pacific Coast," USDA adds. Toward week’s end, cooler weather will return to the Midwest and Northeast and begin to spread inland across the West, USDA explains. "Meanwhile, additional rainfall could total 1 to 2 inches in the Southeast and along the Gulf Coast," USDA adds. Showers will become more numerous across the West and upper Midwest, with some locations receiving more than an inch of rain, according to USDA.