Beneficial rains in northern Parts of the Corn Belt


Beneficial rains in northern Parts of the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, a disturbance crossing the Great Lakes region is producing widespread showers. The rain is especially beneficial in Michigan, where topsoil moisture rated very short to short had risen to 71% by July 5. Some Midwestern locations, including Kalamazoo, Michigan, reported high temperatures of 90º or greater on each of the first 9 days in July. However, slightly cooler air is currently overspreading the Midwest.

On the Plains, scattered showers and near- or below-normal temperatures across Montana and the Dakotas are providing favorable growing conditions for spring-sown small grains, many of which are in the heading or filling stage of development. On July 5, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. spring wheat (63%) and barley (60%) had headed. Farther south, an ongoing spell of extremely hot, dry weather across the southern Plains is maintaining significant stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops. On July 9, Borger, Texas, reported a daily-record high temperature of 109º.

In the South, impacts from Tropical Storm Fay are waning in the coastal Carolinas as the cyclone moves northward along the middle Atlantic coastline. Early Friday morning, Fay was centered about 55 miles south-southeast of Ocean City, Maryland, with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph. Most of the South continues to experience warm, humid weather and a rapid crop development pace. A few thundershowers are occurring early today, primarily from Mississippi to Florida.

In the West, lingering cool weather (and a few showers) in the northern Rockies contrasts with above-normal temperatures elsewhere. Extreme pre-monsoon heat has resulted in the issuance of an excessive heat warning for the Desert Southwest; Friday’s high temperatures could approach or reach 120º at low-elevation sites such as Death Valley, California.