USDA : Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin

Much-needed rain fell across the South, helping to temper the

effects of hot weather that intensified and shifted westward toward week’s

end. Agriculturally, rain was especially beneficial in the Carolinas, where

many locations received more than 2 inches. Farther north, occasional showers

and moderate temperatures maintained abundant moisture reserves for

reproductive to filling Midwestern summer crops. Some of the week’s heaviest

rain (locally 4 inches or more) soaked the already soggy western Corn Belt on

July 29-30. Meanwhile on the northern Plains, scattered showers caused only

minor small grain harvest delays. Across the remainder of the Nation’s

midsection, late-week heat replaced generally tranquil conditions on the

central and southern Plains. Elsewhere, an active monsoon resulted in locally

heavy rainfall in the Four Corners States, while warm, mostly dry weather

promoted fieldwork and crop development in California and the Northwest. In

fact, near- to above-normal temperatures covered much of the Nation. Cooler

than normal conditions were confined to the immediate Pacific Coast and

scattered locations in the Northeast and Southwest. The Midwest again escaped

the triple-digit heat that stressed pastures, animals, and summer crops in

parts of the South.

Early in the week, flooding continued in parts of the Midwest. In Wisconsin,

the Fox River at Waukesha crested 1.67 feet above flood stage on July 25,

behind only 2.85 feet on June 9, 2008, and 2.00 feet on April 1, 1960. Very

heavy rain returned to parts of the western Corn Belt on July 29-30, when

24-hour totals ranged from 4 to 8 inches in southeastern South Dakota.

July 29-30 totals included 7.36 inches in Wessington Springs, South Dakota,

and 2.93 inches in Sioux City, Iowa. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, received

16.38 inches of rain from June 1 – July 31, breaking the 1993 record of

14.29 inches. Severe thunderstorms accompanied the rain across the

north-central United States. There were two tornado-related fatalities in

Sheridan County, Montana, on July 26, tying a state record that was most

recently set on June 10, 1923. The Sheridan County tornado, rated EF-3

(estimated winds of 150 miles per hour) was Montana’s strongest twister since

July 5, 1988. Meanwhile, beneficial showers dotted the South. Selected

daily-record totals included 4.64 inches (on July 29) in Norfolk, Virginia;

3.15 inches (on July 27) in Abilene, Texas; 2.73 inches (on July 27) in

Vicksburg, Mississippi; 2.66 inches (on July 27) in North Myrtle Beach, South

Carolina; 2.40 inches (on July 27) in Monticello, Arkansas; and 2.38 inches

(on July 25) in Sarasota, Florida. Elsewhere, monsoon showers continued to

expand across the Southwest. Phoenix, Arizona (1.33 inches), received a

daily-record total for July 31. Elsewhere in Arizona, locations completing

their wettest July on record included McNary (8.60 inches), Williams

(7.31 inches), and Fort Valley (5.33 inches).

Intense heat continued early in the week across the Southeast. Norfolk,

Virginia (105 degrees Fahrenheit on both July 24 and 25) tied an all-time

record previously achieved on August 7, 1918. Elsewhere in Virginia, Richmond

(105 degrees Fahrenheit on July 24 and 25) tied a July record previously set

on July 10, 1936, and July 6, 1977. Later, Lakeland, Florida (102 degrees

Fahrenheit on July 28) eclipsed a monthly record previously established with

a high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit on July 11, 1989. Triple-digit, daily-record

highs included 103 degrees Fahrenheit (on July 26) in Athens, Georgia, and

102 degrees Fahrenheit (on July 25) in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

Farther west, heat surged northward in advance of a cold front. In Wyoming,

for example, daily-record highs for July 26 included 98 degrees Fahrenheit in

Casper and 97 degrees Fahrenheit in Lander. During the second half of the

week, heat began to shift westward. Nevertheless, Richmond (101 degrees

Fahrenheit on July 29) set a record with its tenth day of triple-digit heat

this year. Richmond’s previous calendar-year record of 9 days had been

established in 1954. In Florida, Tallahassee (103 degrees Fahrenheit on

July 30) experienced its hottest day since June 22, 2009 (also 103 degrees

Fahrenheit) and missed its all-time record by 1 degree. Farther west, San

Angelo, Texas (105 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit), noted consecutive

daily-record highs on July 31 and August 1. Elsewhere on the southern Plains,

both Wichita Falls, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, experienced their

first 100-degree readings of the year on July 31. In contrast, Western

daily-record lows for July 31 included 39 degrees Fahrenheit in John Day,

Oregon, and 59 degrees Fahrenheit in Los Angeles (LAX), California. Elsewhere

in California, Stockton (54, 52, and 54 degrees Fahrenheit) collected a trio

a daily-record lows from July 28-30.

Showery weather persisted in Alaska, where Northway completed its wettest

30-day period on record. Northway received 9.29 inches from June 25 –

 July 24, surpassing its 30-day standard 6.95 inches set from June 19 –

 July 18, 2005. Alaskan daily-record rainfall totals included 0.67 inch (on

July 25) in King Salmon, 0.78 inch (on July 26) in Anchorage, and 1.24 inches

(on July 28) in Bethel. Farther south, Hawaii experienced little change from

its long-running dry spell. Through July, year-to-date rainfall totaled 40 to

45 percent of normal in locations such as Honolulu, Oahu (4.26 inches);

Lihue, Kauai (9.52 inches); and Hilo (29.99 inches), on the Big Island.

National Weather Summary provided by USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board.

For more information, call (202) 720-2397.

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