Since early June, the Midwest and parts of the northern and central Plains have faced a devastating drought. The lack of substantial rainfall has had severe effects on corn production and has resulted in desertlike conditions for some areas. Paired with the recent heat wave, the situation has become a disaster for corn growers and has significantly driven down yields in the United States for 2012.
Some parts of the nation are better off than others when compared to a week ago, in terms of dryness and drought. However, some areas, including part of the corn belt, have gotten worse.
Waves of downpours have greatly eased the drought in portions of northern Florida and southern Georgia in recent weeks, while dry conditions have gotten worse in parts of the corn belt.
Building drought and waves of heat continue to raise concerns about the corn crop and other agriculture in the Midwest to the central Plains.
Even though the recent heat wave has ended, weeks of drought and days of 100-degree temperatures have already taken a toll on this year's corn crop in a large part of the Midwestern United States.
Heat and drought threaten to take their toll on the northern part of the corn belt in the coming weeks.
While many areas in the eastern half of the nation are getting relief from heat, the landscape around the Midwest is behaving like a desert.
The heat and accompanying drought continue to seriously impact the Midwest as the "corn crop disaster" continues to unfold.
The ongoing drought and Corn Belt disaster is likely to drive down yields further in the United States for 2012.
Spotty downpours will grace northern and eastern areas of the corn belt into August, but not enough rain will fall on a large part of the corn belt, leading to a disaster.
Story thumbnail image was tweeted by @dspears2.
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As July draws to a close, a storm system swinging up from the Deep South will bring downpours that will break the back of the heat wave in much of the northeastern United States.
Heavy downpours will raise the concern for flash flooding along the Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley through midweek.
A stifling heat wave will remain entrenched across the Northeast much of this week, despite a brief reprieve in humidity for some.
Highs will run between 10 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit above average across much of the western United States into the upcoming weekend.
Severe thunderstorms rumbled through the Northeast on Monday, lashing the region with damaging winds while also unleashing heavy downpours that triggered flash flooding.
Here are five easy ways to stay cool in sweltering summer heat.
Charlotte, NC (1979)
Last of 12 straight days on which some rain fell. Total precipitation was 3.74".
Redfield, SD (1990)
A total of 1.76" of rain in 25 minutes during the morning, then a tornado struck in the afternoon.
Hagerstown, MD (1992)
3.50" of rain.