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.
Autumn officially starts at 10:29 p.m. EDT on Monday, but it will not feel like autumn in some parts of the U.S.
After storms clipped Chicagoland early Sunday, drier air will filter into the area for the rest of the week.
A brief warmup is in store for residents of the Northeast this weekend before more fall-like conditions return.
Pleasant and sunshine-filled weather will bring in the first week of the fall season around Detroit.
In keeping with tradition, temperatures will continue their up-and-down cycle during the second half of September around New York City.
Drier and more tranquil weather will move into the Atlanta area for this week.
West Yellowstone Montana (1983)
Minus 6 degrees (F) (Record for month is minus 9 degrees in continental U.S. This was also recorded at West Yellowstone).
Charleston, SC (1989)
Hurricane Hugo intensified throughout the day as it moved northwestward toward Charleston. Hugo made landfall just before midnight (Sept. 22) over Sullivans Island, north of Charleston, with winds estimated between 130 and 150 mph northeast of the eye. Central pressure at the time of landfall was 934 MB or 27.58 inches. Winds gusted from 100-119 mph in downtown Charleston. The storm surge northeast of Charleston reached 20 feet, destroying most beach homes on the Barrier Islands.
Casper, WY (1994)
Temperature drops from 78 to 33 in 24 hours. 3" of snow accompanied the temperature plunge.