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Rain chances slim for crops in need

A summer of 2011 that has featured more than its fair share of hot days across a lot of the Nation is going to have one more hot spell this week...and then hopefully the last of the heat until the summer of 2012. Texas has started a new string of consecutive 100-plus degree days as of late, and they will have no trouble continuing that string through at least Thursday with extremes there continuing to be around 110 degrees.

 Temperatures in the Midwest will be mild for today and tomorrow, but will start to warm for Wednesday and most of the region will be downright hot for Thursday and Friday with highs above 90, the southern half (Thursday) or the southeastern half (Friday) above 95, and certainly a number of locations getting above 100. Given that the calendar will read "September" when that heat arrives, I would fully expect some record highs to fall.

As I said though, that might be the last of the heat for this year. I think that most of Texas may not be above 100 this Friday and should continue to be below 100 right through the end of the 6-10 day time frame. The far northwestern Midwest will be much cooler on Friday, and all of the Midwest will be cooler Saturday and will stay cool into next week.

On Labor Day itself, a lot of the northern Midwest may see highs just in the 60s. Unfortunately these changing temperatures do not mean any change to what has been an exceptionally dry month of August for the heart of the Midwest, with several of the major reporting stations that I track having recorded under 20 percent of normal rainfall since August 1.

There will be rains for tonight through tomorrow night and again for Friday/Friday night, but noting that looks big. What does fall will be mainly in the far northwestern Corn Belt and points northwestward, with a lot of the area east and south of there getting nothing. Midwest rainfall also looks poor in the 6-10 day time frame. For corn and soybean crops that can still benefit from a big rain, such a rain is not likely to occur before time runs out and the crop starts to head into maturity.

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