Hot weather expanding on the Plains
Across the Corn Belt, showers are limited to the lower Great Lakes region, mainly across Michigan. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors corn and soybean development, which is mostly behind schedule due to earlier planting delays. Wednesday’s high temperatures will remain below 80°F in the vicinity of the Great Lakes—but should reach or exceed 90°F in parts of the southwestern Corn Belt.
On the Plains, heat is expanding northward, with Wednesday’s high temperatures expected to reach or exceed 100°F as far north as eastern Montana. Mostly dry weather accompanies the Plains’ heat, leading to increased stress on rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops. Conditions are particularly serious on the southern Plains, where little rain has fallen since mid-June. In Oklahoma, topsoil moisture rated very short to short increased from 29 to 65% from June 12 to July 10.
In the South, unsettled, showery weather prevails east of the Mississippi River, where recent and ongoing soil moisture improvements have greatly benefited pastures and summer crops. Meanwhile, scorching heat continues in the western Gulf Coast region, where Wednesday’s non-coastal temperatures should generally range from 100 to 105°F.
In the West, hot, mostly dry weather prevails, despite scattered cloudiness. Northwestern heat is promoting winter wheat maturation and summer crop development. Meanwhile, an elevated wildfire threat exists in portions of the Great Basin and Intermountain West, where new ignitions may occur due to lightning strikes. In Yosemite National Park, California, the 3,500-acre Washburn Fire has been burning for nearly a week in rugged terrain with heavy fuels.