USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cooler weather — accompanied by beneficial showers — is returning to northern areas. "Meanwhile, warm weather is promoting winter wheat development across the southern half of the Plains," USDA reports. In addition, scattered showers and thunderstorms dot northern and western Texas, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says an early-season Pacific storm is producing heavy precipitation as far south as central California. "Meanwhile, scattered showers are overspreading the Great Basin, northern Intermountain West and Pacific Northwest," USDA elaborates. The precipitation is slowing fieldwork but aiding rangeland, pastures, and winter grains, USDA explains.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says a thunderstorm cluster is crossing the Mississippi Valley.
"Elsewhere in the Midwest, warm, dry weather favors corn and soybean harvesting, which has begun to wind down in some areas," USDA explains. Across the southern and eastern Corn Belt, winter wheat planting is ongoing, USDA adds.
In the South, very warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut and soybean harvesting, according to USDA. "Today's high temperatures will again approach, reach, or exceed 90°F in the western Gulf Coast region," USDA elaborates.
In its outlook, USDA says the storm system currently affecting the West will slowly move eastward, reaching the nation’s midsection late in the week. "Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from the Mid-South into the Midwest," USDA reports. In the West, additional precipitation totals of 2 to 4 inches can be expected in parts of northern and central California, USDA adds. By week’s end, USDA says lingering warmth will be confined to the East, as sharply colder air will trail the storm system. "Elsewhere, a developing tropical system over the Caribbean Sea may soon become Tropical Storm Sandy," USDA reports. Future interactions between the tropical system and the storm over the nation’s mid-section will determine late-week weather pattern across the eastern U.S., according to USDA.