USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cooler air has overspread the northwestern half of the region. "A few rain and snow showers are providing limited drought relief from the Dakotas into Wyoming," USDA reports. Meanwhile on the southern Plains, USDA says a final day of warm weather is promoting winter wheat growth and summer crop harvesting.
In the West, USDA says cool weather accompanies rain and snow showers in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. "Lingering warmth is confined to the southern Rockies," USDA adds.
In the Corn Belt, a cold front is draped across the upper Midwest, USDA reports. "Elsewhere, warm, mostly dry weather favors winter wheat germination and establishment, as well as late-season harvest efforts," USDA continues.
In the South, USDA says easterly winds are gradually increasing across Florida's peninsula in conjunction with Tropical Storm Sandy's approach. "Elsewhere, very warm, dry weather is conducive to summer crop harvesting," USDA explains.
In its outlook, USDA says the complex interaction between Tropical Storm Sandy (currently approaching Jamaica), a cold front crossing the nation’s mid-section and a blocking high-pressure system over the northern Atlantic Ocean will result in a low-confidence, potentially high-impact forecast across the eastern U.S. "Toward week’s end, coastal impacts will include large waves and beach erosion," USDA elaborates. Inland—especially in the Northeast—conditions developing during the weekend and persisting well into next week should include high winds and heavy rainfall, according to USDA. "Precipitation may eventually change to snow in some Eastern mountain locations," USDA reports. Farther west, USDA says mid- to late-week rainfall associated with the cold front could total 1 to 2 inches in the Midwest. "Similar precipitation totals should also occur during the next five days in the Northwest," USDA adds. In contrast, dry weather will prevail from southern California to the southern Plains, USDA continues. "Cold air will overspread the remainder of the Plains by Thursday and engulf the East (excluding New England) by early next week," USDA reports.