USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, intensifying heat and dryness are elevating concern for corn and soybeans over the central Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. "As of June 26, approximately 49% of the nations' corn and 50% of the soybeans are now under varying degrees drought," USDA explains. Extreme heat (100°F or greater) and gusty winds are rapidly depleting already-bleak soil moisture supplies and causing high levels of stress on reproductive corn, soybeans, and other summer crops across Missouri and southern portions of the Ohio Valley, USDA elaborates. "In contrast, much-needed showers are falling in the western Corn Belt, where crop prospects remain generally favorable," it adds.
In the West, USDA says sunny skies are favoring cotton and rice development in California and Arizona. "Northwestern winter wheat is benefiting from additional rainfall, while showers are aiding wildfire containment in the Rockies," USDA reports.
On the Plains, USDA says a weak frontal boundary is separating blistering heat (100°F to 110°F, locally higher) across the southern half of the region from cooler conditions over the northern Plains. "Showers are developing along the front in Colorado and Nebraska, but much more rain is needed for pastures and summer crops," USDA adds.
In the South, USDA reports dry, hot weather is accelerating crop development but exacerbating drought in the Southeast and northern Delta. "Flood recovery efforts continue in northern Florida following recent excessive rainfall," USDA says.
USDA's outlook says a weak frontal boundary will generate showers and thunderstorms from the north-central Plains into the central Corn Belt and Mid-Atlantic states. "South of the front, dry, hot weather (highs approaching or exceeding 100°F) will persist from the southern Plains to the central and southern Atlantic Coast, including the southern Corn Belt," USDA continues. "North of the front, somewhat cooler conditions will prevail, particularly across the Great Lakes and upper Midwest," USDA adds. Farther west, monsoon showers and thunderstorms will dot the Four Corners, while a cold front will bring light rain to the Northwest; the remainder of the western U.S. will remain dry, according to USDA.