Today's Weather:   Cold front to weaken

In the West, hot weather lingers in the Four Corners States, despite an increase in humidity, cloudiness, and shower activity related to monsoon onset. Meanwhile, above-normal temperatures have also developed from northern California into the Northwest, favoring winter wheat harvesting and other fieldwork.

On the Plains, temperatures in Texas have fallen slightly from record-setting levels. A cluster of showers and thunderstorms is providing limited and localized drought relief across the southern half of the High Plains. On July 12, Texas led the southern Plains with topsoil moisture rated 74% very short to short. Meanwhile, mild weather covers the northern and central Plains, favoring summer crop development.

In the Corn Belt, an energetic cold front is producing showers and thunderstorms from Michigan into the lower Ohio Valley. The rain is falling in some of the driest sections of the eastern Corn Belt, benefiting corn and soybeans that have begun to enter the reproductive stage of development. On July 12, Ohio led the Midwest with topsoil moisture rated 57% very short to short, followed by Indiana at 46%.

In the South, hot, humid weather favors a rapid crop development pace. Widely scattered showers are occurring primarily in the Southeast. Elsewhere, heat advisories are in effect from eastern Texas to the Mississippi Delta, due to the combination of high humidity levels and temperatures expected to exceed 95°F later today.

Outlook:  A cold front currently crossing the eastern Corn Belt will weaken while approaching the Atlantic Seaboard. A second front will traverse the northern Plains and upper Midwest during the next couple of days before sweeping into the Northeast early next week. Rainfall associated with the two cold fronts could reach 1 to 2 inches or more from the Dakotas to the northern Appalachians. Although hot weather will prevail in much of the Midwest during the weekend, high temperatures should remain below 95°F, except for some higher readings from Nebraska into the middle Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, the Southwestern monsoon circulation will contribute to scattered showers and thunderstorms, primarily across Colorado, New Mexico, and eastern Arizona. During the next 5 days, dry weather will cover the remainder of the West, as well as much of Texas. Locally heavy showers may occur, however across the eastern half of the Gulf Coast region, especially in southern Florida.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 21 – 25 
calls for near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, with the greatest likelihood of hot weather in the Northeast. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across much of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and throughout the southern half of the Plains.

Contact: Brad Rippey, Agricultural Meteorologist, USDA/OCE/WAOB, Washington, D.C. (202-720-2397) Web Site:

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