July 18 WAOB SummaryJul 18, 2012
All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Devastatingly dry conditions persisted in much of the Midwest, despite a reprieve from extreme heat, while rain provided significant drought relief in the Southeast. Only isolated sections of the Corn Belt received an inch of rain, while totals exceeded 4 in. in many locations from the western Gulf Coast region into the southern Appalachians. As a result, corn and soybean conditions continued to decline in much of the Midwest, while pasture and summer crop conditions stabilized or improved in the Southeast. Parts of the western Gulf Coast region received too much rain (locally 8-12 in. or more), causing localized flooding.
Meanwhile, early-week showers briefly aided pastures and crops on the central and southern Plains, but dry weather covered the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. In addition, heat returned to the Plains toward week’s end, maintaining or renewing stress on both rain-fed and irrigated summer crops. Elsewhere, hot weather shifted into the West for several days. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10° F above normal across portions of the northern High Plains and the interior Northwest.
With monsoon showers active in the Four Corners States, the focus for wildfire activity primarily shifted into the Northwest. At week’s end, however, cooler weather and showers arrived across the interior Northwest.