Across the Corn Belt, very warm, dry weather west of the Mississippi River remains ideal for summer crop maturation and harvesting. During the week ending October 2, more than one-quarter of the soybeans were harvested in North Dakota (38% harvested in a week; 43% overall), Minnesota (32% in a week; 35% overall), and South Dakota (28% in a week; 30% overall). Meanwhile, mild, dry weather is finally overspreading the eastern Corn Belt, following an extended period of cool, showery weather.
On the Plains, record-setting warmth continues, particularly across northern areas. Tuesday’s highs will exceed 90° as far north as eastern Montana and parts of the Dakotas. Nebraska leads the nation with 82% of its intended winter wheat acreage planted by October 2. In Texas, where producers are awaiting rain, only 25% of the wheat was planted by October 2, compared to the 5-year average of 49%.
In the South, dry weather (and a gradual warming trend) favors autumn fieldwork. Louisiana leads the U.S. with 80% of both its cotton and soybeans harvested by October 2.
In the West, markedly cooler air is overspreading the Pacific Coast States, while scattered showers dot the Intermountain region. Across the interior Northwest, rain is benefiting recently planted winter wheat.
An important weather pattern change will bring much-needed moisture to the nation’s mid-section by week’s end. In the interim, cool, showery weather will engulf much of the West, slowing fieldwork but boosting topsoil moisture and establishing high-elevation snow packs.
Farther east, a prolonged period of warm, dry weather will promote summer crop maturation and harvesting across the eastern half of the U.S. One exception will be Florida, where locally heavy rain will develop late in the week.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the West. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across the Plains, Northwest, and lower Southeast will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the Southwest and a broad area stretching from the central Gulf Coast into the lower Great Lakes region and the Northeast.