Dry for the Corn Belt, potential flooding hazard from Central Plains through the Southeast.

Eric Snodgrass
Senior Atmospheric Scientist

A large ridge over the western U.S. has introduced very hot temperatures to the West Coast and air quality is quite bad due to smoke from fires—especially in Washington. But, that same ridge is part of the overall flow pattern that has produced a trough for the central and eastern U.S. Normally, troughs bring not only cooler weather, which the Corn Belt has enjoyed, but also quite a bit of precipitation. The difference with this trough is that it's position has allowed for the development of a surface high pressure system centered over Illinois. August precipitation is crucial for soybean yields, and the last 14 days have been quite dry for many in the Corn Belt. The presence of that high pressure system will, in the short term, keep part of the Corn Belt dry, while producing a potential flooding hazard along its periphery from the Central Plains through the Southeast.