In the West, an active monsoon flow continues to spark showers and thunderstorms from the Four Corners States to the central Rockies. Rainfall is most beneficial in drought-affected areas of Arizona and New Mexico. Meanwhile, unusually cool weather is returning to the Pacific Coast States.

On the Plains, a cold front draped across central portions of the region is producing widespread rainfall. The front separates cool weather on the northern Plains from relentless heat on the drought-stricken southern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, strong thunderstorms in the vicinity of a cold front are crossing northern and western portions of the region. Meanwhile, the winter wheat harvest is advancing across the southern and eastern Corn Belt under a hot weather regime.

In the South, hot weather is stressing pastures and rain-fed summer crops, despite recent and continuing showers in some areas. Currently, showers are most active across Florida, which has experienced the greatest degree of drought relief among the Southern States.

Outlook: For the remainder of a week, a stubborn ridge of high pressure will maintain hot, dry conditions across the drought-ravaged south-central U.S. However, tropical moisture will continue to wrap clockwise around the ridge, with heavy, “ring of fire” showers possible. A cold front crossing the northern half of the U.S. will further enhance rainfall in some areas. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches in the Southeast and 1 to 3 inches in the western Corn Belt. Elsewhere, cool weather will prevail for much of the week in the West. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for July 16-20 calls for hotter-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures in the Southeastern and Pacific Coast States. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Four Corners region, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest, and the Gulf Coast region.