An active pattern, centered on the northern Plains.


An active pattern, centered on the northern Plains.

Across the Corn Belt, a significant rainfall event is underway across areas west of the Mississippi River, although some of the thunderstorms contain large hail and damaging winds. Nevertheless, rain across the western Corn Belt is easing drought and benefiting immature summer crops, such as soybeans. Meanwhile, late-summer heat is hastening corn and soybean maturation across the southern Corn Belt, where Thursday’s high temperatures should range from 90 to 100°F.

On the Plains, scattered, drought-easing showers and thunderstorms are occurring from Nebraska northward. In contrast, a late-season heat wave continues across the central and southern Plains, where 100-degree heat will be possible again Thursday in some communities. Many locations in Kansas, including Wichita and Dodge City, reported 3 consecutive days 100-degree heat from August 23-25. The heat is adversely affecting some immature summer crops, including sorghum.

In the South, hot, humid weather prevails. The hottest weather, with Thursday’s high temperatures expected to range from 95 to 100°F, stretches from the western Gulf Coast region to the Mississippi Delta. Rain showers are occurring early Thursday in a few areas, mainly across Florida and along the central Gulf Coast.

In the West, the 126.000-acre Caldor Fire continues to burn closer to Lake Tahoe. That wildfire, along with others in northern California and the Northwest, are resulting in widespread degraded air quality, extending eastward across the northern Rockies. Mostly dry weather prevails in the Northwest, despite an increase in cloudiness. Meanwhile, building heat is affecting the Desert Southwest, where Thursday’s high temperatures will locally exceed 110°F.