USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, warm weather is promoting a rapid pace of corn and soybean development. Currently, significant rainfall is confined to the middle Mississippi Valley.
In the South, USDA says hot, humid conditions persist, except for cooler weather in the southern Mid-Atlantic region. Most areas are experiencing dry weather, but locally heavy showers stretch from the central Gulf Coast into the southern Atlantic States. Some of the driest conditions in the Southeast exist in northern Georgia and upstate South Carolina; in those two states, 37% of the pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition on July 31, USDA says.
On the Plains, USDA notes hot weather in most areas contrasts with sharply cooler conditions in Montana. Today’s high temperatures could reach the 100-degree mark as far north as south-central South Dakota.
In the West, clouds and showers are suppressing temperatures in the Four Corners States. Meanwhile, cool, dry, breezy weather prevails in the Northwest, but heat lingers from northern California to the Intermountain West, USDA states.
In its outlook, USDA says later today, thunderstorms in the vicinity of a cold front could result in local wind and hail damage in the Dakotas and environs. On Thursday, the threat for severe weather will shift into the upper Great Lakes region. By week’s end, markedly cooler air will trail the front across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest. Farther west, dry, breezy conditions and lightning strikes could lead to a rash of new wildfires later today across the interior Northwest. Meanwhile, hot, dry weather will persist in the south-central U.S. , but five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 4 inches in the Southeast. Elsewhere, monsoon-related showers will remain active in the Southwest, with some of the rain reaching the central Plains, USDA says.