A colder, more active pattern for Thanksgiving week...

Across the Corn Belt, frozen precipitation has halted final corn harvest efforts in the far upper Midwest. Meanwhile, rain showers are further boosting topsoil moisture reserves in the eastern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, a substantial snow cover is protecting Montana’s winter wheat from Monday morning’s cold weather, which featured low temperatures ranging from 0 to -20 degrees. Meanwhile, mild weather lingers across the southern half of the Plains, where pockets of drought persist.

In the South, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork, including late-season cotton and peanut harvesting.

In the West, cold air continues to settle southward, accompanied by rain and snow showers. Northwestern winter grains are entering dormancy, while wet soils in California are slowing final cotton harvest efforts and other late-autumn fieldwork activities.

During the next several days, a series of winter-like storms will traverse the U.S. Significant snow will accumulate in the north-central U.S. and high-elevation locations across the northern two-thirds of the West. Meanwhile, rainfall could total 1 to 3 inches from the Mississippi Delta northeastward into the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region—with much of that rain falling on Thanksgiving Day.

Very cold air—initially in place across the northern Plains and much of the West—will expand to cover most areas from the Mississippi Valley westward by Thanksgiving Day. The intensity of the cold air will weaken but sweep to the East Coast by Friday.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for colder-than-normal weather east of the Mississippi River, while near- to above-normal temperatures will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the Plains. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in northern New England, northern and central California, the northern Great Basin, and the Northwest.

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