Across the Corn Belt, rain showers are spreading into the upper Mississippi Valley, but mild, dry weather favors early-season harvest efforts across the remainder of the Midwest. The corn harvest is within 5 percentage points of the 5-year average in Missouri (34% harvested), Illinois (11%), Indiana (4%), Iowa (3%), and Nebraska (2%). In the wake of the September 15 freeze, the percentage of corn and soybeans rated in good to excellent condition fell 7 to 10 points (from September 11 to 18) in North Dakota and Minnesota.
On the Plains, a chilly rain is falling in parts of the Dakotas, while warm, dry weather prevails across the southern half of the region. Despite recent topsoil moisture improvements, winter wheat planting is well behind schedule in Oklahoma (4% planted by September 18, compared to the 5-year average of 16%) and Texas (8% planted, compared to the average of 21%).
In the South, mild, dry weather prevails from the Delta westward, while showers are spreading into the southern Atlantic States. Southern winter wheat planting is getting underway, while harvest activities for crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans are ongoing as conditions permit.
In the West, warm, dry weather continues to promote crop maturation and fieldwork. Among major production states, Washington leads the nation with 47% of its winter wheat planted by September 18.
A cold front will linger in the vicinity of the Atlantic Seaboard. Meanwhile, a disturbance currently centered over North Dakota will drift southeastward before stalling over the Midwest. As a result, cool, showery weather will affect the Midwest, while wet weather will persist in the East.
Most of the remainder of the U.S. will experience dry weather through week’s end. Warmth in the West will gradually expand eastward, reaching the High Plains later in the week.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures in the Southeast. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the lower Southeast and the Pacific Northwest.