Heat wave on the Plains, scattered, locally heavy rain & storms in parts of the Midwest
Across the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather prevails. Early Tuesday, any showers are confined to Illinois and portions of neighboring states. Later Tuesday, maximum temperatures will stay below 95°F across the eastern half of the Corn Belt. West of the Mississippi River, however, building heat could lead to Tuesday’s high temperatures reaching 100°F or greater, especially in Nebraska, South Dakota, and western Iowa. At the end of July, Nebraska led the Midwest with 22% of its corn crop rated in very poor to poor condition.
On the Plains, very hot, mostly dry weather prevails in advance of a cold front, which is crossing Montana. Tuesday’s high temperatures will surge to 100°F or higher as far north as South Dakota. In addition, lack of moisture is causing problems for rangeland, pastures, and rain-fed summer crops; on July 31, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in each of the states in the region except the Dakotas, led by Texas (82%), Oklahoma (74%), and Nebraska (70%).
In the South, widely scattered showers dot areas east of the Mississippi Delta. Despite recent rainfall, topsoil moisture remained at least one-half very short to short on July 31 in Mississippi (57%) and Louisiana (50%). Meanwhile, the western Gulf Coast region continues to experience very hot weather amid worsening drought; Tuesday’s high temperatures should reach 100°F or higher at many inland locations across eastern Texas.
In the West, rain showers remain widely scattered, despite an increase in cloudiness and the arrival of slightly cooler weather. In addition, an elevated Northwestern wildfire threat persists due to a variety of factors, including gusty winds, receptive fuels, and lightning strikes.