Heat builds back on the Plains; some rain in parts of the Midwest Corn Belt
Across the Corn Belt, temperatures remain below stressful thresholds (below 95°F) for reproductive to filling summer crops, except in the southern and western fringes of the region. Nevertheless, patchy drought is resulting in local impacts on corn and soybeans. More than a week ago, on July 24, more than one-sixth of the corn was rated in very poor to poor condition in Missouri (23%), Indiana (18%), and Nebraska (18%). Early Monday, scattered thundershowers sweeping across the eastern Corn Belt stretch from Michigan to Illinois.
On the Plains, very hot weather prevails. Later Monday, triple-digit high temperatures—100°F or greater—will stretch from Montana to Texas. On the Plains’ drought-affected areas, the heat is further stressing rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops. On the northern Plains, however, hot weather favors winter wheat harvesting and the maturation of spring-sown small grains.
In the South, flood recovery continues in eastern Kentucky and environs, with efforts being hampered by ongoing showers. A broader area of shower activity stretches from the mid-Atlantic to the northern Mississippi Delta. Elsewhere, hot, humid conditions persist across the Deep South, with drought impacts mounting in the western Gulf Coast region.
In the West, showers have become a little more widespread, although excessively hot weather continues in the Northwest, mainly east of the Cascades. In addition, several newly explosive wildfires, including the 51,000-acre McKinney Fire near Yreka, California, are burning across the northern half of the region. Later Monday, lightning strikes have the potential to ignite new Northwestern wildfires.