USDA: Most of the U.S. Remains Hot and Dry

June 19, 2012 03:12 AM

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, thunderstorms continue to roll across northern areas, including the upper Mississippi Valley. "However, hot, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest," USDA explains. For the second day in a row, USDA reports today's high temperatures will approach 95°F in the driest areas of the southern and eastern Corn Belt. On June 17, corn was already starting to silk in Missouri (15%), Illinois (5%), Indiana (2%), and Ohio (1%), according to USDA.

In the West, USDA says heat lingers across the Four Corners states, but elsewhere generally cool, dry weather prevails. "There is an elevated risk of wildfires from the Southwest into the central Rockies," USDA adds.

On the Plains, USDA says markedly cooler weather prevails in Montana and North Dakota. "In contrast, hot weather persists on the central and southern High Plains, where some locations can expect a third consecutive day of 100-degree heat," USDA reports. Hot, dry conditions are adversely affecting pastures and rain-fed summer crops, it adds. "On June 17, at least one-quarter of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition in Nebraska (30%), Texas (37%), Kansas (48%), and Colorado (58%)," USDA elaborates.

In the South, USDA explains hot, dry weather is maintaining significant crop stress in the northern Delta region, including the Missouri Bootheel. "On June 17, Missouri reported very poor to poor condition ratings for at least one-fifth of its corn (21%), soybeans (29%), cotton (31%), and pastures (47%)," USDA adds. Meanwhile, pastures and crops across the Deep South and Atlantic Coast states continue to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements, according to USDA.

In its outlook, USDA says through mid-week, the focus for thunderstorms will remain across the upper Midwest, where additional rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches or more. "Mostly dry weather will prevail through week’s end from California into the Southeast, except for showers across southern parts of Texas and Florida," USDA explains. By Friday, USDA says heat will temporarily subside in the Midwest but return to the High Plains.


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