USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, very cold air—accompanied by snow showers—is just starting to arrive in Montana and North Dakota. "Mild weather prevails elsewhere on the Plains, while showers and thunderstorms are confined to eastern Kansas," USDA adds. Drought remains a concern on the southern High Plains, including much of Texas, where nearly one-quarter (23%) of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition on Nov. 17, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says precipitation continues to spread farther south across California and the Great Basin. "The Western storminess is slowing fieldwork but providing much-needed moisture for those areas—including California—entering a potential third year of drought," USDA continues.
In the Corn Belt, USDA says rain is arriving in parts of Iowa and Missouri, just three days after a severe weather outbreak struck Illinois, Indiana, and neighboring states. "By Nov. 17, the Midwestern soybean harvest was complete in Nebraska, Ohio, and the Dakotas, and nearly complete in the other major production states," USDA explains. Meanwhile, the corn harvest ranged from 75% complete in Michigan to 95% complete in Illinois, USDA reports.
In the South, USDA explains dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton and soybean harvesting.
In its outlook, USDA says an active and complex weather pattern will prevail during the next several days. "Very cold air will engulf the nation’s mid-section during the second half of the week and spread to the East Coast during the weekend," USDA reports. Very windy conditions will accompany the surge of cold air, especially during the weekend across the Midwest and East, USDA continues. "Late-week temperatures could fall to 0°F or below as far south as the central High Plains, although snow (expected to fall on Nov. 21) will help to insulate winter wheat in some areas—particularly in parts of Nebraska and South Dakota," USDA explains. During the next five days, precipitation totals could reach 1 to 2 inches in the Four Corners states and from the western Gulf Coast into the Ohio Valley, according to USDA. "Higher totals, 2 to 4 inches or more, may occur across the Ozark Plateau and neighboring areas," USDA elaborates.