Hot in the West, Cool in the East
When it comes to the weather, the nation will be split in half through the first half of July. The heat will continue in the far west, while most of the nation east of the Rockies will remain a bit cooler than normal.
The strong ridge of high pressure that is making headlines in the far west will continue to dominate the weather patterns across the western half the USA through the middle of the month. The extreme heat will likely be at its worst in the short term with some easing of the heat coming this weekend and into early next week across the Great Basin, Desert Southwest and Pacific coast areas. However, temperatures from the Rockies to the west coast will likely remain above normal through at least the middle portions of the month along with below normal precipitation. The exceptions will be portions of the southern Rockies and western areas of the southern Plains where some monsoon moisture will help fuel some heavy thunderstorm activity.
The heat will hit the Great Basin states the hardest, especially Nevada, Utah, southern California, Idaho and the Four Corners region. Cattlemen in those states are going to have it the worst in regards to heat and continued dryness. We do expect some thunderstorm activity at times in the hottest areas, but no enough rain is expected to alleviate the dryness and severe heat.
However, once you get over the Continental Divide and head into the Midwest, northern Plains, Great Lakes, Corn Belt and Southeast, temperatures are going to be at or a little below normal through the first full week to ten days of July. The heart of the cooler air will reside across many portions of the Corn Belt, including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, as well as eastern Nebraska and Kansas. While temperatures are going to be at or below in many areas east of the Rockies, precipitation amounts are not expected to be heavy in the Midwest and Corn Belt, however, many areas of the Mid Atlantic and the Southeast should expect some pretty heft rain chances later this week and into the following week as some tropical activity is likely to head into the southern and southeastern states over the next week.
Temperatures are likely to “even out” some during the second and third weeks of July as the highly amplified jet stream pattern will become a bit more west to east oriented across the lower 48 states.