USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, heavy rain is falling in some areas from the Mississippi Valley westward, particularly in Missouri. In fact, significant flooding is occurring in parts of the Grand River basin in northern Missouri. Meanwhile, hot weather has not yet overspread the Midwest, maintaining mostly favorable growing conditions.
In the South, hot, humid conditions persist. In parts of the Southeast, showers are helping to offset the effects of hot weather. Still, dryness is apparent in many areas, with topsoil moisture rated 60% very short to short on July 31 in Georgia, along with 50% in Alabama and South Carolina, USDA observes.
On the Plains, USDA says hot weather prevails. However, thunderstorms across the central Plains are tempering the effects of above-normal temperatures. Again today, high temperatures above 100°F will be common across the southern half of the Plains. In the past month, consistent heat on the southern High Plains has taken a toll on crops, including cotton, which in Texas was rated 20% in very poor to poor condition at the end of July.
In the West, monsoon-related showers remain active in Arizona and New Mexico. Meanwhile, cooler air is overspreading the Pacific Northwest. Across the interior Northwest, hot weather, gusty winds and low humidity levels are resulting in an elevated to critical risk of new wildfires, in addition to those already burning, USDA notes.
In its outlook, USDA says during the next five days, a pair of cold fronts will cross the northern U.S. The second front, in particular, will sweep away a short-lived hot spell across the Midwest. By week’s end, cool air will overspread the Northern and Central Plains and the Midwest, but heat will persist from the southern Plains into the Southeast. In the West, showers (locally 2 to 4 inches) in the Four Corners States will contrast with mostly dry weather elsewhere. Simi- arly, five-day rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches from the Central Plains into the Western Corn Belt, but little or no rain will fall in the Northeast and the south-central U.S. Locally heavy showers in the Southeast could result in 1- to 4- inch totals, USDA states.