All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Devastatingly hot weather continued to bake the nation’s mid-section, further dimming corn and soybean prospects and increasing stress on the Plains’ immature summer crops. Weekly temperatures generally averaged 5-10° F above normal in a broad area stretching from the central and southern Plains into the Midwest. Multiple triple-digit (100° F) days were noted in parts of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and on the Great Plains from South Dakota to Texas.
In contrast, enough rain fell across the northern Corn Belt to help stabilize or even improve crop conditions in some fields. A few weekly totals in excess of 2 in. were noted, mainly from eastern North Dakota to Michigan. Parts of northern Missouri and central and eastern Iowa also received much-needed rainfall. Farther east, substantial rain (2 in. or more) fell outside the nation’s heartland but benefited pastures and crops from the middle Ohio Valley into parts of the Northeast.
Meanwhile, heat returned to the Southeast, following a two-week period of beneficial rainfall. Southeastern showers were widely scattered but heaviest in the Gulf Coast region and the southern Mid-Atlantic coastal plain. Elsewhere, near- to above-normal temperatures prevailed in the West, except for cooler-than-normal conditions along the Pacific Coast. Dry weather in the Northwest favored small grain harvesting, while showers associated with the monsoon circulation dotted the Great Basin, Southwest, and Intermountain West—but were heaviest in parts of Arizona.