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 combination of moisture from Erika and a non-tropical system will drench areas from Florida to the Georgia coast through the middle of the week.
A rapid shutdown of tropical activity and an end to hurricane season in early September is not likely this year, despite a strong El Nino.
Typhoons and building drought will impact more than one billion people in southeastern Asia this fall.
The vast majority of the time through the Labor Day weekend will feature sunshine with unseasonably warm afternoons around New York City.
Fall will make an early debut across the Northwest as October-like chill spreads across the region for the first week of September.
The calendar may be flipping to September but summer is not going anywhere just yet across the Northeast.
Yuma, AZ (1950)
123 degrees - hottest temperature ever in Yuma. Yuma is the hottest city in the U.S.
Los Angeles, CA (1955)
110 degrees, hottest day ever in September. This mark was tied September 4, 1988.
Milwaukee, WI (1988)
Hottest summer on record. Six days of 100 degrees or greater and 36 days of 90 or above. Average temperature of 73.8 beat the old record of 72.8 set in 1921 and 1955. The normal average tempera- ture for a summer in Milwaukee is 68.3 degrees.