USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, temperatures are rebounding to above-normal levels across the northwestern half of the region. "The Plains’ sudden warmth is beneficial for winter wheat, which by Oct. 20 had emergence ranging from 42% in Texas to 73% in Colorado and Nebraska," USDA explains.
In the West, USDA says late-season warmth continues to promote fieldwork, including cotton harvesting in California and Arizona. "In addition, Northwestern winter grains are benefiting from mild, dry weather, following abundant September rainfall and an extended cool spell," USDA reports. Meanwhile, showers in New Mexico are providing some relief from moderate to extreme drought, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails, except for a few snow showers downwind of the Great Lakes, USDA reports. "Conditions are mostly favorable for corn and soybean harvesting, but lingering drought in the central and southern Corn Belt remains a concern with respect to soft red winter wheat," USDA details.
In the South, USDA says cool, dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut and soybean harvesting. "The National Weather Service has issued a variety of freeze warnings and frost advisories, in effect early today, across the interior Southeast as far south as northern sections of Alabama and Georgia," according to USDA.
In its outlook USDA says over the weekend, warm, mostly dry weather in the West will contrast with generally chilly conditions across the eastern half of the U.S. "However, showers associated with an upper-air disturbance will drift from the southern Rockies into Texas and Oklahoma, while snow and rain showers linger downwind of the Great Lakes," USDA explains. Weekend freezes can be expected as far south as the southern Appalachians and parts of the interior Southeast, USDA reports. "Early next week, a developing storm will produce locally heavy snow across northern sections of the Rockies and Plains, while rain will develop from the eastern Plains into the Corn Belt," USDA explains. Moisture from this system will spread slowly east, although the Southeast will remain dry, it adds.