Content ID

316615

No relief for hottest and driest areas of the Corn Belt

Drought conditions likely to worsen in August.

Another month is in the books for the 2021 growing season. July was hot in the Northern and High Plains and into parts of the Upper Midwest. The driest areas of the Corn Belt correlated with areas that were in a state of drought going into July. Further dry conditions throughout the month caused a degradation in drought ratings in the Upper Midwest. Looking ahead to August, unfortunately, drier-than-normal conditions look to become a bit more widespread across the Corn Belt, and hotter weather will be likely in current drought areas including the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.

For the Corn Belt as a whole, July 2021 was the coolest in three years and the eight wettest in more than 30 years, according to data from WeatherTrends360. Wetter trends were reserved to southern and eastern portions of the Corn Belt, while drought-stricken areas of the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest saw drier-than-normal conditions.

Hot and dry conditions in the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest exacerbated drought conditions with Minnesota seeing 58% of the state in abnormally dry to drought conditions by the end of the month, up from 54% on July 6, according to data from the United States Drought Monitor. In North Dakota, this was the hottest and second driest July in 30-plus years with very dry conditions bleeding over into Minnesota where this was the driest July in over 30 years, according to WeatherTrends360.

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As we head into August, there doesn’t appear to be much change in the overall weather pattern. Drier conditions will continue across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest with drier weather possibly extending into central and eastern portions of the Corn Belt as well through the first half of the month. There will be a fine line between warmer-than-normal and cooler-than-normal temperatures in the first week of August. Warmer-than-normal weather should be locked up in the Northern Plains and Minnesota while areas to the east and south look cooler than normal. Unfortunately, the hottest weather remains over the hardest hit drought areas, which will only worsen conditions.

Taking a look at the tropics, WeatherTrends360 expects the Atlantic basin to be quiet through the first half of August, however, conditions will gradually become favorable for tropical development as we head later into the month and approach September. A more active than normal season is expected in the Atlantic, which typically peaks in September. Although not frequent visitors to the Corn Belt, remnants of tropical systems have been known to bring enhanced rainfall to the region, especially in southern and eastern areas.

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