With the exception of the Pacific Northwest and the far southeastern states, the first full week of July was quite cool for the rest of the country and wetter than normal as well. Temperatures in the central states and Rockies were as much as eight degrees colder than normal last week! It was even cold enough to snow in the high Sierras.
Snow was reported on July 9, about a mile from the east entrance of Yosemite National Park. However, as we head into the middle of July some welcomed warmth into many of the same areas that were cold last week.
Hot weather will be noted in the central and Southern Plains. Portions of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas will be quite hot and for a while at least, a little drier.
The cool and wet weather pattern over the past several weeks and vastly improved soil moisture conditions in many areas. The graphic below shows the soil moisture change (green positive, brown negative) over the lower 48 states since April 30. Most of the nation with the exception of the far northwest and southeast has seen big improvements in soil moisture.
The enhanced precipitation has also improved drought conditions in many (but not all) areas as you can see in the graphic below over the past three months. The heat and dryness is having a negative impact in the far northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest.
The precipitation has been most prevalent in the Rockies and the western and Southern High Plains since April.
Despite all the good news with enhanced rainfall, many areas could use some drier and warmer weather to speed crop development and allow hay to be cut and bailed. For those looking for warmer and drier weather, there is help on the way over the next week with warmer temperatures spreading into the Rockies, Midwest and Corn Belt.