USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, warm weather has returned to northern areas, where today's high temperatures will approach 90°F as far north as Montana. "Farther south, cool, showery weather continues to boost soil moisture in preparation for winter wheat planting, especially across the southeastern Plains," USDA reports.
In the West, USDA says cool conditions linger across the southern Rockies. "Elsewhere, late-season warmth and dry conditions favor fieldwork, including Northwestern winter wheat planting," USDA continues. However, several wildfires remain active in the northern Rockies, USDA adds. On the strength of late-summer wildfire activity in the Northwest, the nation's year-to-date total is approaching 8.4 million acres — within reach of the 2006 record of 9.9 million acres, according to USDA.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says a band of widespread showers stretches from southeastern Michigan into the middle Mississippi Valley. "Farther north, frost advisories are in effect early today in parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota, where low temperatures generally ranged from 30°F to 40°F," USDA reports.
In the South, USDA says isolated showers are confined to the western Gulf Coast region and Florida's peninsula. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather continues to promote summer crop maturation and harvesting," USDA explains.
USDA's outlook says during the weekend and early next week, a cold front crossing the Plains and the Midwest will interact with a pool of atmospheric moisture across the South. "As a result, showers and thunderstorms will develop in the vicinity of the front, while showers will be drawn northward in advance of the front across the eastern U.S.," USDA reports. Five-day rainfall totals should reach 1 to 3 inches in a broad area across the South and East, USDA elaborates. "In contrast, little or no rain can be expected into the middle of next week across the western half of the U.S.," USDA explains. In the front’s wake, another surge of cool air will arrive during the first half of next week across the Plains and Midwest, according to USDA.