USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warmer weather in the north contrasts with cool conditions in the south. "Much-needed showers are falling on the southern High Plains, although more rain is needed to ease exceptional drought," USDA reports.
In the West, USDA says hot, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development but heightening the risk of wildfires and exacerbating drought in central and southern portions of the region.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says cool, unsettled weather lingers east of the Mississippi. "Recent showers have improved soil moisture in the eastern Corn Belt but maintained soggy fields in central portions of the region," USDA explains.
In the South, Tropical Storm Andrea is generating widespread, locally heavy rain as it accelerates northeast along the southern Atlantic Coast, likely eradicating the lingering moisture deficits in eastern North Carolina, according to USDA. "However, the storm has begun to lose tropical characteristics, with the heaviest rain now falling well north and west of the center," USDA explains. Meanwhile, a cold front is triggering showers and thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast, it adds.
In its outlook USDA says Tropical Storm Andrea, which early Friday morning was located near Charleston, South Carolina, will accelerate northeast along the Atlantic Coast, while a cold front approaches the Appalachians. "The combination of these two features will generate locally heavy downpours from the eastern Gulf Coast into the Northeast, with the heaviest rainfall (2-5 inches, potentially more) falling along the path of Andrea," USDA reports. Meanwhile, USDA says showers will develop across the Great Plains, expanding and intensifying as they reach the Corn Belt over the weekend. In addition, temperatures in the Midwest will average up to 10°F below normal as chilly Canadian air filters into the region, USDA explains. In contrast, increasingly hot (10-20°F above normal), dry weather will persist out west, with daytime highs eclipsing 100°F from northern California into the Southwest, USDA continues. "By early next week, 100-degree heat will shift east into the core southern and central Plains’ drought areas, ending the recent spell of cool weather," according to USDA.