USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, cool, dry weather favors summer crop harvesting and late-season winter wheat planting. "However, cool conditions are also slowing wheat emergence and development," USDA adds.
In the West, dry, unusually warm weather continues to promote fieldwork—including cotton harvesting in California and Arizona—and the development of Northwestern winter wheat, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says snow showers are confined to areas downwind of the Great Lakes. "Elsewhere, cool, dry weather remains favorable for corn and soybean harvesting," USDA explains. "Among the Midwestern states on Oct. 20, the corn harvest ranged from 14% complete in North Dakota to 63% in Missouri. At the same time, the soybean harvest ranged from 36% complete in Missouri to 80% in Minnesota and Nebraska," it elaborates.
In the South, USDA says shower activity is limited to southern Florida.
"Elsewhere, cool, dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut, and soybean harvesting," USDA reports. This morning’s temperatures dipped to the freezing mark (32°F) or below as far south as portions of eastern Tennessee and the western Carolinas, USDA continues.
In its outlook, USDA says through the weekend, warm, mostly dry weather in the West will contrast with generally chilly conditions across the eastern half of the U.S. "Weekend freezes can be expected as far south as the southern Appalachians and parts of the interior Southeast," USDA details. Early next week, a developing storm will produce precipitation—including some heavy snow—across northern sections of the Rockies and Plains, according to USDA. At the same time, rain will begin to develop from the eastern Plains into the Mississippi Valley, USDA continues. "Five-day precipitation totals could exceed an inch in the Great Lakes region and across the northern High Plains, with most of the rain and snow in the latter region occurring on Oct. 28," USDA reports.