Heat and humidity expanded across the Midwest and Northeast, making for some mid-summer misery across some of the nation's major population centers. Patchy dryness accompanied the heat, contributing to a browning of lawns and pastures. In the nation's breadbasket, some of the most extensive short-term dryness stretched from southern Iowa into Central Indiana.
Meanwhile, historically hot, dry conditions persisted in the South-Central United States. Texas experienced its hottest, second-driest July on record, sharply aggravating the effects of a 10-month drought. By early August, the United States Department of Agriculture rated more than 90 percent of the rangeland and pastures in both Oklahoma and Texas in very poor to poor condition.
Weatherwise Contributing Editor BRAD RIPPEY is the U.S. Editor of the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin of the Joint Agriculture NOAA Weather Facility.
Weatherwise Contributing Editor JEFFREY B. HALVERSON is an associate professor of geography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.