Seasonal pattern across much of the Heartland; late-season heat wave across the West

Across the Corn Belt, showers are limited to southern Missouri and a narrow band stretching from Minnesota to Nebraska.  Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors corn and soybean maturation.  Friday’s high temperatures will remain below 80°F in the Red River Valley of the North—but should reach 95°F or higher in parts of Nebraska.  Midwestern heat- and drought-related crop concerns remain focused across the western Corn Belt.

On the Plains, the passage of a weak cold front has temporarily lowered temperatures across the Dakotas.  Meanwhile, hot, dry weather continues across the central Plains, where Friday’s high temperatures will approach 100°F.  Portions of the southern Plains are benefiting from recent soil moisture improvements, although many crops—including corn, cotton, and sorghum—were irreversibly harmed by this summer’s drought.

In the South, warm, humid weather prevails.  Early Friday, scattered showers and thunderstorms are occurring in several areas, including the mid-South and lower Southeast.  Pockets of excessive wetness are causing local fieldwork delays and crop-quality concerns.

In the West, extreme heat persists.  Lancaster, California, tied a monthly record on September 1, with a high temperature of 112°F, while Salt Lake City, Utah, set a monthly record by reaching 102°F.  Currently, about four dozen Western wildfires are in various stages of containment.  Northwestern heat and dryness are favorable for small grain harvesting, but moisture is lacking for the upcoming winter wheat planting and establishment season.

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