Short-term dryness across the nation's breadbasket increased stress on crops, despite favorable temperatures. For the Corn Belt as a whole, July 2013 was more than 7°F cooler than last year, when blazing heat resulted in the third-hottest Midwestern July behind 1936 and 1901. However, July rainfall came up a little short—about 93 percent of normal for the Midwest as a whole—with more significant deficits noted in the western Corn Belt.
Meanwhile, heavy showers soaked much of the eastern United States, with record-setting July rainfall totals observed in parts of the Southeast—primarily from Florida to Virginia. The incessant Southeastern rainfall caused flash flooding and left some lowland areas submerged.
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.