Weather report: Cooler but still dry in the West

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In the West, heat lingers across the Four Corners States, but elsewhere generally cool, dry weather prevails. There is an elevated risk of wildfires from the Southwest into the central Rockies.

On the Plains, markedly cooler weather prevails in Montana and North Dakota. In contrast, hot weather persists on the central and southern High Plains, where some locations can expect a third consecutive day of 100-degree heat. Hot, dry conditions are adversely affecting pastures and rain-fed summer crops. On June 17, at least one-quarter of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition in Nebraska (30%), Texas (37%), Kansas (48%), and Colorado (58%).

In the Corn Belt, thunderstorms continue to roll across northern areas, including the upper Mississippi Valley. However, hot, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest. For the second day in a row, today’s high temperatures will approach 95°F in the driest areas of the southern and eastern Corn Belt. On June 17, corn was already starting to silk in Missouri (15%), Illinois (5%), Indiana (2%), and Ohio (1%).

In the South, hot, dry weather is maintaining significant crop stress in the northern Delta region, including the Missouri Bootheel. On June 17, Missouri reported very poor to poor condition ratings for at least one-fifth of its corn (21%), soybeans (29%), cotton (31%), and pastures (47%). Meanwhile, pastures and crops across the Deep South and Atlantic Coast States continue to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements.

Outlook: Through mid-week, the focus for thunderstorms will remain across the upper Midwest, where additional rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches or more. Mostly dry weather will prevail through week’s end from California into the Southeast, except for showers across southern parts of Texas and Florida. By Friday, heat will temporarily subside in the Midwest but return to the High Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for June 24-28 calls for abovenormal temperatures and below-normal rainfall across the heart of the nation. Cooler- and wetter-than-normal conditions will be largely confined to the fringes of the country. Specifically, below-normal temperatures will be limited to the Northeast, southern Texas, and areas along the Pacific Coast. Above-normal rainfall will prevail only in southern Texas, peninsular Florida, the Four Corners region, and across the nation’s northern tier.



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