For the second time in less than a month, a significant, multi-day storm event unfolded across the southern Plains. The rain improved prospects for summer crops and continued to revive rangeland and pastures. Prior to the arrival of heavy rain across the southern Plains, multiple rounds of heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms crossed the central Plains, Midsouth, and Midwest. Weekly rainfall totaled 4 inches or more in numerous locations across the central and southern Plains, Tennessee Valley, and southwestern Corn Belt.
In contrast, little or no rain fell in Gulf and Atlantic Coast regions, favoring fieldwork but reducing topsoil moisture. Mostly dry weather also persisted on the northern High Plains, continuing a trend that had developed during May. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather dominated the West.
The heat promoted fieldwork and crop growth, but also boosted irrigation demands and—in drought-affected areas—stressed rangeland, pastures, immature winter wheat and rain-fed summer crops. In fact, most of the country continued to experience warm weather. Weekly temperatures averaged as much as 10° F above normal in northern California and were more than 10° F above normal across portions of the southern Rockies. However, cool conditions returned to the northern Plains, where temperatures averaged as much as 5° F below normal.
All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce