When the hot spell of July 20-23 formed over the western Corn Belt, there was a fair amount of worry start up over whether this was the start of a quick switch in crop weather fortunes to a hot, dry, droughty end to the growing season.
That does not seem to be in the cards. As the rainfall forecast graphic from the U.S. forecast model illustrates, August rain totals running from one to two inches above normal is indicated for the entire Midwest, most of the Plains, the Rockies, and the Southwest. The only area with below-normal precipitation is along the southern tier, from central Texas east to Florida.
A combination of southwestern U.S. monsoon flow (typical for this time of year); the prevailing high-latitude blocking high pressure influence that has been so dominant in shoving the storm track southward over the central U.S.; some influence from a weak El Nino-type Pacific Ocean temperature pattern; and a still-evident subtropical high pressure area off the southeast U.S. coast all combine to bring on this type of rainfall outlook.
Such a pattern keeps the factors in place for big crops this fall and possibly record-high corn and soybean production, which has been well-publicized.
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