Welcome rains, cooler air on the southern Plains; unsettled weather across parts of the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, showers stretch southwestward from the lower Great Lakes region.  Cool weather accompanies and trails the rain; Tuesday’s temperatures will remain below 70°F in the upper Great Lakes region and parts of the upper Midwest.  Despite the recent turn toward cooler Midwestern weather, most summer crops west of the Mississippi River are maturing at a faster-than-normal pace. 

On the Plains, rain across the southern-third of the region is disrupting fieldwork but providing moisture for the upcoming winter wheat planting and establishment season.  More than a week ago, on September 3, topsoil moisture across the central and southern Plains ranged from 40% very short to short in Colorado to 95% in Texas.  Farther north, generally cool, dry weather prevails, although warmth is returning across Montana. 

In the South, lingering hot weather stretches from the central Gulf Coast region to Florida.  However, unlike recent weeks, Tuesday afternoon temperatures will remain below 100°F, except in parts of southern Texas.  Still, according to the September 5 U.S. Drought Monitor, a large area of extreme to exceptional drought is affecting the western and central Gulf Coast States, covering 69% of Louisiana, 41% of Texas, and 20% of Mississippi. 

In the West, cool, showery weather is generally confined to the central and southern Rockies.  Elsewhere, dry weather and near- or above-normal temperatures favor fieldwork, including Northwestern small grain harvesting and winter wheat planting.  However, drought remains a concern from the Pacific Northwest to northern Montana.   

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