Following is the text of the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook as released by the National Weather Service in Camp Springs, Maryland:
As Tropical Storm Isaac moves up the Mississippi River Valley with drenching rain, it will probably miss the drought-parched areas of the Midwest that need water most while ruining crops in other areas waiting for harvest.
Drought affected 87 percent of U.S. corn, 85 percent of soybeans, 63 percent of hay and 72 percent of cattle through last week, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
The most extreme forms of drought spread last week in the lower 48 states, and moderate or worse conditions are expected to persist in the Midwest through October, according to U.S. monitors.
Drought across the Midwest is expected to persist through October and spread in parts of North Dakota and Texas, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center’s drought outlook.
An El Nino may be about to form in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which may create a curb on hurricanes in the Atlantic as the storm season reaches its most active phase.
The southern U.S. will probably be warmer than normal from June to August while the West may have major outbreaks of wildfires, government forecasters said.
An El Nino may form in the Pacific Ocean within six months, potentially crimping the number of Atlantic hurricanes while bringing rain to the drought-stricken U.S. South and drier weather in Asia.