The Plains: Excessive heat occurred in the Plains this week, with daily maximum temperatures soaring past 100 degrees late in the week. Healy, Kansas, whose record spans 111 years, set an all-time record high for the month of June when the temperature reached 113 degrees on June 25. In all, over 500 daily maximum temperature records were broken nationwide during this USDM week (June 19-25). According to June 24 USDA reports, over half of the topsoil was rated short or very short in Texas (64%), Nebraska (64%), Kansas (63%), Oklahoma (60%), and South Dakota (51%), and half of the pasture and rangeland was rated poor or very poor in Kansas (53%). For a second week in a row, bands of heavy thunderstorms moved across southeast Nebraska to northeast Kansas. The 1-3 inch rains (and locally 3+ inches in northeast Kansas) trimmed the D1-D2 areas, but elsewhere widespread expansion of D0-D2 occurred in Nebraska and D1-D3 in Kansas. To the south, D0-D3 expanded across parts of Oklahoma and Texas, and to the north, D0 expanded in North Dakota. South Dakota had both expansion (where it continued dry) and contraction (where beneficial rains fell) of D0-D1. The L/SL impacts boundary in Texas was moved westward.
The West: Pacific fronts associated with an upper-level trough brought an inch or more of rain to the coastal areas of Oregon and Washington and lesser amounts further inland this week, and a few tenths of an inch of rain fell with scattered showers over the Four Corners States, but otherwise the West continued bone dry. By the end of the week, temperatures topped 100 degrees from Tucson, Arizona to Glasgow, Montana. The tinder dry conditions, hot temperatures and gusty winds fanned wildfires across the West, from New Mexico to Montana and California to Colorado, with twice as many large wildfires burning by the end of the week as at the beginning. June 24 USDA reports indicated most of the topsoil in New Mexico (93%) and Colorado (90%) was rated short or very short of moisture, with over half so rated in Wyoming (73%) and Utah (63%). More than half of the pasture and range land was rated in poor or very poor condition in New Mexico (90%), Arizona (72%), Colorado (70%), Wyoming (66%), Nevada (61%), and California (60%). The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) measures moisture deficits. SPI values, at time scales from 30 days to 12 months, were in the D4 equivalent category in many areas across the West. To reflect these conditions, a general one-category degradation of the USDM D0-D2 areas was made across Colorado, with D0-D2 expanding across Wyoming. D2 –D3 expanded across parts of the Intermountain Basin. D2 expanded in New Mexico, D0-D1 in Montana, and D0 in southeast Idaho. The SL/S impact boundary in north central Utah was shifted north.