An early-Winter storm on the Plains

Across the Corn Belt, rain showers are encroaching from the south and west. Nevertheless, harvest activities continue in many areas. By November 3, at least 90% of the soybeans had been harvested in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, and the Dakotas. On the same date, the corn harvest had surpassed the halfway mark in all Midwestern States except North Dakota (47% harvested), Michigan (48%), and Wisconsin (50%).

On the Plains, a winter storm is underway across western sections of Nebraska and South Dakota, where snow is falling. Meanwhile, scattered rain showers are developing from central Nebraska to Texas, although unfavorable dryness persists on the southern High Plains. The portion of the Texas winter wheat crop rated very poor to poor stood at 20% on November 3, up from 5% just 2 weeks ago.

In the South, rain is confined to the northwestern fringe of the region, including the Ozark Plateau. Elsewhere, dry weather favors winter wheat planting and harvest activities for a variety of summer crops. By November 3 in North Carolina, winter wheat planting was 37% complete, while harvest progress included 19% for soybeans, 30% for cotton, and 94% for peanuts.

In the West, precipitation is mostly confined to the southern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the region, courtesy of a high-pressure system centered over the northern Intermountain West. However, the high-pressure system is also contributing to gusty winds and low humidity across southern California, where there is an enhanced risk of wildfire activity.

Looking ahead, a cold front will move eastward, reaching the Atlantic Seaboard on Thursday. Additional frontal rainfall could reach 1 to 2 inches from eastern Texas to the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, snow will quickly spread from Nebraska into the upper Great Lakes region. Storm-total snowfall could reach 4 to 6 inches in parts of Nebraska. Elsewhere, periods of precipitation—heaviest from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies—will affect the nation’s northern tier.

The 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Coast States, northern Rockies, and New England. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across the southern and eastern U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from northern California and the Pacific Northwest eastward into the Great Lakes region.

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