USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, warm, dry weather is ideal for corn and soybean maturation, as well as initial winter wheat planting efforts. "However, soil moisture shortages remain a concern in many areas, with the latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicating that 79% of Iowa, 53% of Minnesota, and 41% of Illinois are in drought," USDA explains.
In the West, USDA says winter storm warnings are in effect across portions of the northern Rockies due to heavy, wet snow. "Lower elevations of the interior Northwest are receiving a chilly rain, which is halting fieldwork but boosting topsoil moisture for winter wheat establishment," USDA continues. Unusually cool weather prevails throughout the region, except for lingering warmth in the southern Rockies, according to USDA.
On the Plains, USDA explains warm, dry weather across the majority of the region favors summer crop maturation and fieldwork, including harvest activities and winter wheat planting. "However, sharply colder air is overspreading the northern High Plains, accompanied by a few rain showers," USDA details.
In the South, USDA says showers are confined to areas along the southern Atlantic Coast. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather is promoting summer crop maturation and harvesting, USDA reports.
In its outlook, USDA says snow will subside later today or on Friday across the northern Rockies, while a few showers will linger along the southern Atlantic Coast. "On Friday, widespread showers will erupt across the nation’s mid-section, primarily from western Texas to the eastern Dakotas and northwestern Minnesota," USDA reports. During the weekend, showers will shift eastward and gradually become less numerous, it adds. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in the south-central U.S., including much of Texas, and in parts of the upper Midwest, USDA details. "Mostly dry weather will prevail in the East, except along the southern Atlantic Coast, and in the Southwest," USDA reports. However, heavy precipitation will begin to overspread the Pacific Northwest on Friday, with 5-day totals reaching 4 to 8 inches or more, according to USDA.