USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says gusty northerly winds and a few rain showers are occurring along the southern Atlantic Coast in conjunction with Hurricane Sandy, currently centered less than 500 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Meanwhile, showers associated with a cold front are crossing the lower Mississippi Valley. Between weather systems, warm, dry weather favors summer crop harvesting and other fieldwork.
In the West, USDA says mostly dry weather favors autumn fieldwork. Cool weather prevails, except in California.
On the Plains, USDA says cold weather prevails. "Freezes were noted this morning as far south as Texas’ northern panhandle. Light snow is providing winter wheat with some beneficial moisture on the central High Plains," it says.
In the Corn Belt, showers are occurring in the vicinity of a cold front stretching from Michigan into the lower Ohio Valley. "In the front’s wake, cold, dry weather favors late-season corn and soybean harvesting," says USDA.
In its outlook USDA says during the next few days, a complex and unique interaction between Hurricane Sandy; a cold front crossing the East; and a blocking high-pressure over the northern Atlantic Ocean will result in a prolonged period of historically severe weather conditions in the northeastern U.S. Sandy, which has already battered Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and parts of the Bahamas, will continue to graze the southern Atlantic Coast with gusty winds and tropical showers. "Farther north, however, the remnants of Sandy will be drawn inland across the Mid-Atlantic region early next week, increasing the likelihood of flooding rains, high winds, power outages, and a damaging coastal storm surge. Heavy, wet snow will develop in some inland sections of the Northeast. Other Atlantic coastal impacts will include large waves and beach erosion. Farther west, cold but generally tranquil weather will prevail," it says. "However, temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels across the West during the weekend and the High Plains early next week. Outside of the eastern U.S., wet weather will be limited to the Pacific Northwest."