Weather report: Triple digits linger on the Plains

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In the West, sunny skies are advancing the development of cotton, rice, and other irrigated summer crops in California and Arizona. Wildfire activity is increasing across the Rockies and Intermountain West.

On the Plains, hot, dry weather across central and southern portions of the region is sustaining rapid drydown and harvesting of hard red winter wheat. Gusty winds and 100-degree heat (locally more than 110°F) are causing rapid drought intensification, although somewhat cooler conditions have briefly arrived in the north.

In the Corn Belt, dry weather and a looming heat wave are increasing concern for corn and soybeans in the central Mississippi and Ohio Valleys. The last 30 days have featured little — if any — rain in western Ohio, Indiana, and southern portions of Illinois and Wisconsin. As of June 24, corn condition was rated 22 and 36 percent poor to very poor in Illinois and Indiana, respectively.

In the South, Tropical Depression Debby is producing additional showers over Florida as it moves into the western Atlantic. The rain is causing widespread flooding but providing much-needed relief from severe drought. Elsewhere, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development but maintaining drought.

Outlook: Tropical Depression Debby will generate additional showers across Florida while exiting into the western Atlantic. The remainder of the Southeastern drought areas will remain unfavorably dry, as strong high pressure builds across the eastern third of the nation. Initially cool conditions in the Corn Belt will give way to building heat, with highs approaching or exceeding 95°F in southern portions of the region by Thursday; scattered showers may provide localized but much-needed moisture to the central and eastern Corn Belt over the weekend. On the Plains, 100-degree heat will prevail across central and southern areas and return to the north. The West is forecast to remain mostly dry, except for some patchy showers in the Four Corners Region. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 2-6 calls for warmer- and drier-than-normal weather across much of the nation. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Pacific Coast States and southern Florida, while chances for near- to abovenormal precipitation will be greatest in the Southwest, northern Plains, and upper Midwest.



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