USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, in the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather favors summer crop maturation. Just over a week ago, on August 14, more than one-fifth (21%) of the U.S. corn crop had dented, equal to the five-year average.
In the South, USDA notes showers are mostly confined to the western Gulf Coast region. Slightly cooler, drier weather covers the remainder of the region, except for some lingering heat across the lower Southeast . River and bayou levels are dropping in much of southern Louisiana, although some lowland flooding persists.
On the Plains, USDA reports sudden heat across northern areas is promoting spring wheat harvesting and other fieldwork. Today’s high temperature could exceed 100°F as far north as South Dakota. In contrast, cooler-than-normal conditions linger across the southern Plains .
In the West, USDA reports several large wildfires continue to burn in California and the Northwest, with an elevated threat of new development or rapid fire expansion persisting due to dry, breezy conditions and possible lightning strikes. However, cooler air is arriving in the Northwest, ending the recent heat wave. Meanwhile, isolated, monsoon-related showers dot the Southwest, USDA says.
In its outlook, USDA says briefly cooler weather in the East and the Far West will be replaced by a return to above-normal temperatures by week’s end. Meanwhile, very cool weather will reach northern portions of the Rockies and Plains by mid-week before encompassing most of the nation’s mid-section. Early-week rainfall will be mostly confined to the Deep South, but mid-week showers and thunderstorms will precede and accompany a cold front crossing the Plains and Midwest. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from western Texas into the Midwest, with lower amounts expected across the remainder of the central and eastern U.S. Elsewhere, mostly dry conditions will persist from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains, USDA states.