Warmer, then wetter days to round-out September

Warmer, then wetter days to round-out September

Across the Corn Belt, warmer air continues to replace previously cool conditions, favoring corn and soybean maturation. Monday’s high temperatures will exceed 80° in many areas west of the Mississippi River.

On the Plains, very warm, dry weather is promoting summer crop maturation and fieldwork, including early-season winter wheat planting. Monday’s maximum temperatures will top 90° as far north as Montana, where critically dry conditions continue to adversely affect rangeland and pastures.

In the South, Irma has weakened to a tropical storm with sustained winds near 70 mph. early Monday morning, Irma was centered about 30 miles north-northeast of Cedar Key, Florida, moving toward the north-northwest at 18 mph. Agricultural concerns include the effect of high winds on Florida’s citrus and sugarcane; impact of widespread power outages on Southeastern dairies and other farm operations; and potential quality degradations for open boll cotton. On September 3, cotton bolls were at least one-third open in South Carolina and Georgia.

In the West, numerous wildfires remain active from the Pacific Coast States to the northern Rockies. Currently, hot, mostly dry weather covers the West, well in advance of an approaching Pacific storm system.

The remnants of Irma will move farther inland and continue to weaken. As damage assessments begin in Florida, producers of cotton and other Southeastern crops will monitor the impact of additional wind and rain, as well as power outages. Additional rainfall of 2 to 7 inches, with locally higher amounts, can be expected in the Southeast, while winds will gradually diminish. Meanwhile, a weather pattern change will result in a warming trend across the central and eastern U.S., along with cooler weather in the West. Perhaps more importantly, significant precipitation will develop later in the week across the northern Plains and much of the West. In fact, 5-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 4 inches across the drought-ravaged northern High Plains. The cooler, wetter weather should also aid Northwestern wildfire containment efforts.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Northwest. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall from the southern Plains into the Southeast should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across most of the northern half of the U.S.

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