USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, hot, dry weather is promoting fieldwork, including winter wheat planting preparations, but maintaining or increasing stress on rangeland and pastures. "For the third consecutive day, high temperature will top 100°F as far north as the northern Plains," USDA reports.
In the West, hot, mostly dry weather prevails, except for cool conditions along the Pacific Coast, USDA explains. "Northwestern small grain harvesting and other fieldwork activities are advancing with few delays," USDA reports.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says mild weather prevails across eastern areas, but hot weather continues to expand across the upper Midwest. "Dry weather and near- to above-normal temperatures are hastening summer crop maturation," USDA explains.
In the South, USDA says Hurricane Isaac moved inland earlier today in southeastern Louisiana with maximum sustained winds near 80 mph. "Isaac continues to batter the central Gulf Coast region with high winds, torrential rainfall, and a coastal storm surge," USDA explains. "At 9 a.m. EDT, Isaac was centered 40 miles southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, moving toward the northwest at 6 mph. Sustained winds remain near 80 mph," USDA elaborates.
In its outlook, USDA says Isaac will continue to slowly move farther inland, with the remnant circulation expected to reach Missouri by week’s end before turning northeastward across the eastern Corn Belt. "Coastal effects, such as storm surge, damaging winds, and salt-water intrusion, will gradually subside, but inland agricultural impacts could include power outages, fresh-water flooding, and degradation in quality of unharvested summer crops such as cotton, rice and soybeans," USDA reports. Along and near Isaac’s path through the central Gulf Coast States, rainfall could reach 7 to 14 inches, with isolated amounts near 20 inches, USDA says. Storm totals in the middle Mississippi Valley and the eastern Corn Belt could reach 4 to 8 inches, according to USDA. "Little or no rain will occur through week’s end across the remainder of the U.S., except for showers in the Intermountain West," USDA adds. Much of the nation will continue to experience late-season warmth, especially across the northern U.S., USDA continues.