NOAA reported that 37 percent of the contiguous U.S. was under conditions of severe to extreme drought in July (Palmer Drought Index), about unchanged from the previous month. Some 44 percent of the country falls under moderate to extreme drought conditions.
The southwest is seeing some return of North American monsoon rains, but the west and northwest are continuing to see dry weather, high temperatures, and poor air quality from wildfires. The central and south Plains are seeing some rains.
Meanwhile, 9 percent of the country was classed as being severely to extremely wet in July.
As of Aug. 16, poor to very poor conditions were reported at 13 percent for corn (vs. 10 percent a year ago), 15 percent for soybeans (7 percent a year ago), 63 percent for spring wheat (61 percent a year ago), and 51 percent for barley (46 percent a year ago).
Cropland topsoil with short to very short moisture reached 52 percent, on par with the previous week but up from 41 percent a year ago. For subsoil moisture, this figure was 50 percent vs. 38 percent a year ago. Cropland moisture conditions were about unchanged from the previous week.