USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, dry weather accompanies record-setting high temperatures, maintaining severe stress on hard red winter wheat from South Dakota to Texas. Today's high temperatures will exceed 70°F as far north as western South Dakota, USDA explains. "Little more than half (53%) of South Dakota's wheat had emerged by Nov. 18," USDA elaborates.
In the West, USDA says mild, wet weather persists from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies, with additional flooding possible in some areas. "Northwestern winter wheat is faring reasonably well, with 70% of the crop rated good to excellent in Idaho, 57% in Washington, and 39% in Oregon," USDA continues. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors late-season fieldwork, including cotton harvesting (55% complete on Nov. 18) in Arizona, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says mild, dry weather is promoting final harvest efforts. "For example, corn harvest progress by Nov. 18 was 93% complete in Michigan and 90% complete in Ohio," USDA reports. On the same date in 2011, corn harvest progress had reached only 80% in Michigan and 64% in Ohio, according to USDA.
In the South, USDA says cool conditions linger along the southern Atlantic Coast. "Elsewhere, dry, warmer conditions favor late-season fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton and soybean harvesting," USDA explains.
In its outlook, USDA says mild weather will continue to dominate the U.S. through Thanksgiving Day. Late in the week, however, USDA says cooler air will rapidly overspread the eastern half of the nation. "By early next week, a stronger surge of cold air will reach nearly all areas except California and the Southwest," USDA continues During the next five days, additional precipitation could reach 1 to 3 inches in the Pacific Northwest and ½ to 2 inches in the northern Rockies, USDA reports. However, a brief lull in Northwestern storminess will occur on Thanksgiving Day, USDA explains. Elsewhere, late-week snow showers will affect the nation’s northern tier and the Appalachians, while rain showers will break out from Texas into the middle Mississippi Valley and quickly spread eastward before dissipating, according to USDA.