USDA: Southern Plains Get a Shot of Rainfall, Other Areas Still Dry

August 6, 2013 03:54 AM


USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are generally confined to western and southwestern sections of the region, including central and southern Missouri and eastern parts of Nebraska and the Dakotas. However, more rain is needed in the heart of the western Corn Belt . On August 4, Missouri and Iowa led the nation with 15% and 14% of the soybeans, respectively, rated in very poor to poor condition.

In the West, USDA says showers associated with the monsoon circulation are heaviest in Arizona. Meanwhile in the Northwest, hot, dry weather continues to promote summer crop development and winter wheat harvesting. Idaho’s winter wheat harvest was 38% complete on August 4, compared to the 5-year average of 15%.

On the Plains, USDA says hot, dry weather is bringing renewed stress to rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops in Texas and Oklahoma. Today’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 105°F across portions of the southern Plains. Meanwhile, showers dot eastern portions of the northern and central Plains.

In the South, USDA says heavy showers are causing flash flooding in parts of the Mid-South, including south-central Missouri. Widely scattered showers are affecting the Southeast, although most areas are getting a reprieve from July’s incessant rainfall. On August 4, Florida led the Southeast with topsoil moisture rated 36% surplus.

In its outlook, USDA says during the next several days, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms will occur in the vicinity of a frontal boundary separating cool air across the northern Plains and Midwest and hot weather in the Deep South. The axis of heaviest rain will stretch from the central Plains to the northern Mid-Atlantic States, including the Ohio Valley, with 2 to 4 inches possible. Only spotty showers will affect the northern Plains and upper Midwest, while little or no rain will occur in much of Texas and the Far West. Heat will gradually shift from the southern Plains into the Southeast , but generally cool conditions will prevail across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest. Hot weather will persist across the interior Northwest, but other areas west of the Rockies will experience cool conditions.

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