USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, warm weather continues to favor a rapid development pace for corn and soybeans. Corn reaching the dough stage was at least 20 percentage points ahead of the five-year average in Minnesota (54% vs. 28%) and Iowa (61% vs. 37%).
In the South, USDA says a weak low-pressure system is helping to focus heavy rainfall in the central and eastern Gulf Coast States. The greatest threat of flooding exists along Florida’s Gulf coast, north of Tampa, where significant rain has already fallen. Meanwhile, hot, dry weather prevails in the western Gulf Coast region, promoting rice harvesting and other fieldwork.
On the Plains, USDA states a return to hot weather across the northern half of the region is promoting small grain harvest efforts. Meanwhile, beneficial showers have developed on the southern High Plains, where hot, mostly dry conditions have dominated for more than a month. In Texas, 22% of the cotton was rated in very poor to poor condition on August 7, compared to 10% on July 3, USDA notes.
In the West, moisture associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Javier is being drawn into the monsoon circulation, leading to an increase in rainfall in southeastern Arizona, USDA states. Farther north, gusty winds in advance of a cold front are leading to an elevated to critical risk of wildfires across the northern Intermountain West.
In its outlook, USDA says moisture associated with a weak low-pressure system near the central Gulf Coast will become entangled with a cold front, leading to substantial rainfall (lo cally 2 to 4 inches or more) in an arc through the Mississippi Delta, Ohio Valley and Northeast. The cold front will be preceded by a brief surge of heat and trailed by cooler conditions. Meanwhile, heavy showers (locally 2 to 8 inches) will also persist in the central and eastern Gulf Coast regions. Elsewhere, locally severe thunderstorms can be expected across the northern U.S., while an enhanced monsoon circulation could lead to flash flooding in the Southwest, USDA states.