Locally heavy, excessive rains extend from the southern Plains to the lower Ohio Valley

Across the Corn Belt, near- or below-normal temperatures favor reproductive to filling summer crops.  In fact, Friday’s high temperatures will remain below 85°F throughout the Midwest, except in the middle Missouri Valley.  However, dry weather and diminishing soil moisture reserves remain a concern, especially in parts of the western Corn Belt.  On July 24, topsoil moisture was rated 68% very short to short in Nebraska.

On the Plains, lingering heat is confined to Texas and southern Oklahoma.  Dry weather accompanies the southern Plains’ elevated temperatures.  Meanwhile, rain is easing drought but causing local flash flooding in parts of Colorado, Kansas, and northern Oklahoma.  On the northern Plains, very warm, dry weather is promoting winter wheat harvesting and summer crop development.  Friday’s high temperatures could top 95°F in portions of Montana.

In the South, recovery efforts are underway in eastern Kentucky, where locally catastrophic flooding occurred on July 27-28.  Early Friday, another area of torrential rain has developed, primarily across the northern Mississippi Delta.  In contrast, hot, mostly dry weather prevails across the Deep South, from the western Gulf Coast region to the southern Atlantic Coast.  Friday’s high temperatures should reach 100°F or higher in parts of eastern Texas.

In the West, a monsoon-related flash flood threat continues in portions of the Four Corners States.  Meanwhile, the Northwest and northern sections of California and the Great Basin continue to bake under record-setting heat, with Friday’s high temperatures expected to approach 110°F as far north as southeastern Washington.  In addition, Northwestern dry lightning strikes remain a threat with respect to possible afternoon wildfire ignitions.

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