More than half of the counties in the U.S. have now been labeled "natural disaster areas" by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as of Wednesday.
The USDA added 218 more counties in 12 states to the list, due to "damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat," a USDA report reads.
"The core of the heat has been settling southward over the Plains in recent days," Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
"While conditions may improve slightly in the coming weeks over the central Plains, they could get worse for a time in the southern Plains and interior Texas, as far as grazing lands are concerned."
Pledging a commitment to helping America's farmers and ranchers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced two new pieces of disaster assistance for the farmers and ranchers affected.
Vilsack, partnered with President Obama, has expanded emergency haying and grazing on approximately 3.8 million acres of conservation land to bring relief to livestock producers that are experiencing hay and pastureland shortages.
Additionally, he announced that crop insurance companies will now provide a 30-day grace period for farmers on insurance premiums in 2012, preventing incurring interest due to unpaid premiums.
"President Obama and I will continue to take swift action to get help to America's farmers and ranchers through this difficult time," said Vilsack.
The assistance seeks to support U.S. livestock producers "dealing with climbing feed prices, critical shortages of hay and deteriorating pasturelands."
A full list of the counties now designated as disaster areas can be found here.
The next round of thunderstorm downpours will swing into the Appalachians with the risk of isolated flash flooding on Monday.
Following a rain-free weekend for many in the Northeast, residents may be wondering if this is a sign of things to come for July.
A persistent storm track will keep summer warmth out of the United Kingdom through much of July.
Rounds of drenching thunderstorms could bring drought relief to parts of the southern United States into July.
Severe storms will bring large hail and damaging wind gusts to parts of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas on Monday.
The uptick in spotty, drenching thunderstorms, associated with the southwestern United States monsoon, will continue in the coming days and weeks.
Fort Yukon, AK (1915)
100 degrees -- hottest ever in any month for the 50th state.
Extreme heat: Raleigh, NC 104 degrees, June record Greensboro, NC 102 degrees, June record Charlotte, NC 102.8 degrees, June record Columbia, SC 107 degrees, record high
Louisiana/Texas border (1957)
Hurricane Audrey 940 mb/27.75"; 105 plus mph winds, $130 million damage, 430 lost in storm tide when it smashed ashore at Cameron, LA; bayou areas flooded.