Much warmer this week...

Much warmer this week...

Locally, pleasant weather conditions will continue through at least Thursday before rain chances start to increase late Friday or Saturday. Strengthening south winds will bring unseasonably warm temperatures to the area, with afternoon temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above normal! The combination of gusty winds and low relative humidities will produce an enhanced fire threat mainly east of the Illinois River.

Elsewhere, on the Plains, rain is beginning to overspread Montana, where conditions are generally favorable for winter wheat. On the central and southern Plains, pockets of developing drought remain a concern with respect to proper winter wheat establishment.

Across the Corn Belt, summer crop harvesting is nearing completion under a mild, dry weather regime. However, conditions remain unfavorably dry for pastures and winter wheat in parts of the eastern Corn Belt.

In the South, frost was noted this morning as far south as northern Florida. Throughout the region, cool, dry weather favors fieldwork, including summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting.

In the West, rain and snow showers are heaviest across southern Idaho and northern portions of Nevada and Utah. Meanwhile, cooler air is expanding across the Great Basin and the Pacific Coast States. Despite cooler conditions, autumn fieldwork is advancing in California.

A slow-moving cold front will advance eastward from the Intermountain West, reaching the eastern Plains and the Mississippi Valley by week’s end. Snow will fall early in the week across the northern Rockies and northern Intermountain West.

During the latter half of the week, showers and thunderstorms will develop from the central and southern Plains into the upper Midwest. Late-season warmth will precede the precipitation, while cool weather will prevail in the West and eventually spread as far east as the High Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for colder-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to above-normal temperatures in the Northeast. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation from the Rockies to the East Coast will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Far West.

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