Showers and thunderstorms last week delivered beneficial moisture to parts of the southern and eastern Corn Belt, while unfavorably dry conditions persisted across the northern Plains and upper Midwest.
From the upper Mississippi Valley westward, high temperatures accompanied the mostly dry weather, further limiting soil moisture availability for crops rapidly approaching (or entering) reproduction, according to Tuesday's Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, mostly dry weather across the southern half of the Plains for the week ending June 19 promoted fieldwork, including final planting efforts and previously delayed winter wheat harvesting.
In many of the Western drought areas, extreme, early-season heat boosted irrigation demands and further reduced soil moisture availability for rangeland, pastures, winter wheat, and spring-sown crops.
Historic heat elevated weekly temperatures as much as 10 to 15°F above normal, primarily from the Great Basin and Desert Southwest to portions of the northern and central High Plains.
Above-normal temperatures extended into the western Corn Belt, reaching as far east as the middle and upper Mississippi Valley.
By contrast, cloudiness and showers suppressed temperatures (to near-normal levels) in the Southeast.
Late in the week, Tropical Storm Claudette brought gusty winds and pockets of heavy rain to southeastern Louisiana, halting fieldwork but resulting in only minor impacts on summer crops such as cotton and peanuts.
In fact, rainfall associated with Claudette improved soil moisture in some formerly dry Southeastern locations.
For the full USDA report for June 22, click here.