Summer 2020 Issue
July 30, 2020

Early summer has seen a good start to the growing season in much of the country. Mild weather and elevated soil moisture have resulted in crop progress throughout the Midwest that is ahead of recent years, with high crop quality reported. This trend may turn more stressful over the remainder of the summer as warmer than normal temperatures expand into the Midwest. Hotter weather tends to reduce soil moisture levels, which would add humidity to the heat. Hotter and drier than normal weather are expected to dominate the Southwest and Southern Plains through the summer.

The Southeast, especially areas closer to the coast, is likely to see higher than normal precipitation over mid and late summer. This would be the result of warm water temperatures in the Gulf and Atlantic, combined with a more active tropical weather season due to La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean. The La Niña conditions tend to reduce upper atmosphere winds that ordinarily inhibit the development of tropical cyclones; therefore, this is anticipated to be one of the more active Atlantic hurricane seasons in several years.

The West is expected to remain warm and dry over the remainder of the summer, as is typical. Given the areas of drought and low soil moisture after a dry winter, fire conditions should be monitored during late summer and early fall.

Seasonal Drought Outlook
Drought Monitor Class Change