USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms in advance of a warm front are easing topsoil moisture shortages from the eastern Dakotas into Illinois. "Rain will reach the Ohio Valley later today and tonight, providing much-needed relief from short-term dryness for vegetative corn and soybeans," USDA reports.
In the West, USDA says mostly hot, dry weather prevails, promoting fieldwork but maintaining high irrigation requirements. Several wildfires remain uncontained in southern California and the lower Four Corners. "Cooler conditions prevail in the Northwest, though recent dryness is raising concerns over developing short-term drought," USDA adds.
On the Plains, USDA explains hot, dry weather is increasing evaporative losses and boosting moisture demands for summer crops in central and southern portions of the region. "Cooler air has settled over the northern Plains behind a cold front, which triggered some beneficial showers overnight into this morning," it continues.
In the South, warm, mostly dry weather prevails, accelerating fieldwork and crop development, according to USDA. "Rain is needed across much of the interior Southeast to ease stress on pastures and summer crops," USDA reports.
In its outlook, USDA says a disturbance currently over the western Corn Belt will track east along a stalled frontal boundary, producing a swath of moderate to heavy rain (1 to 3 inches, locally more) from the lower Great Lakes into the Mid-Atlantic states. "Somewhat spottier showers will develop south of the front from the middle Mississippi Valley into the Carolinas," USDA continues. Farther west, USDA reports a pair of upper-air disturbances will trigger scattered showers and thunderstorms, the first over the central Plains while the second moves into the Northwest. "Above-normal temperatures will prevail across the western half of the nation over the next five days, though a break from the heat will briefly sweep from the Pacific Northwest into northern portions of the Rockies and Plains over the weekend," USDA details. Hot, humid conditions will prevail across the South, with Southeastern showers contrasting with dry weather in Texas, USDA reports.