Summer 2021 Issue
June 25, 2021

Heading into summer, weather conditions have remained sharply divided across America. Some Plains states and the Southwest continue to experience extreme drought. Meanwhile, much of the Corn Belt states have experienced cool, wet weather to start the growing season. However, current outlooks suggest a convergence across the country in the coming months.

Extreme drought conditions remain across the West Coast, Southwest, and northern Plains areas, though conditions are improving in the Plains. In the West, much of the 2020-21 snowpack is already gone, which signals drier conditions and a prolonged wildfire season. Pastureland in this region is very poor. Rain over the middle part of May has led to improving moisture conditions in the Plains, though soil conditions remain dry.

Over the next three months, the Plains states are forecast to return to near normalcy, while the Southwest and West Coast may see more severe conditions. Plains state forecasts suggest near-average precipitation and temperature. The Southwest is forecast to see the greater high temperature anomalies and drought in the coming months, though all states along the West coast are forecast to see hot and dry conditions.

In the Corn Belt, a swath of warmer weather will offset some of the cooler temperatures that have led to fewer growing degree days. Wetter weather should persist through the Corn Belt over the next three months; forecasts do not currently indicate flooding risk. Temperatures should warm modestly in the region through the middle of the summer. By July, much of the Corn Belt is expected to be experiencing warm and wet conditions.

Seasonal Drought Outlook

Few immediate weather patterns indicate risk from extreme weather events. The only current exceptions are in the lower Mississippi Delta, where heavy rains have the potential to lead to flooding conditions over the coming month. Meanwhile, drought conditions and heat in the West threaten to lead to another historic wildfire season.

Drought Monitor Class Change