Widespread, locally heavy rain boosted topsoil moisture and aided immature summer crops from the northern Plains into the Midwestern and MidAtlantic states. Weekly rainfall totaled at least 4 inches in several areas, including central Montana, parts of the Dakotas, and some northern locations in Illinois and Indiana.
Rainfall in general was much lighter across the southern U.S., although locally heavy showers were observed in central portions of Arizona and Texas, and scattered locations in the Southeast. Heat accompanied the lack of widespread rainfall across the South, promoting summer crop maturation but stressing immature crops.
In fact, late summer heat expanded from the central and southern Plains into the Midwest and Southeast. As a result, weekly temperatures averaged at least 5° F above normal in many locations from the central and southern Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley. Similar temperature departures were noted along portions of the southern Atlantic Coast.
In contrast, near- to below-normal temperatures covered the Northeast and much of the West. Elsewhere, significant shower activity sparked local flooding from Arizona to the northern Rockies, but little or no rain fell – despite the cooler conditions – in the far West.
All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of CommerceStart slideshow