Across the Corn Belt, patches of light snow are primarily affecting southern and western areas. Cold, cloudy weather prevails throughout the Midwest, hampering final harvest efforts. In South Dakota, nearly one-fifth (18%) of the sunflower acreage remained in the field on December 2.
On the Plains, snow remains on the ground across much of the northern half of the region, maintaining a slow pace of late-season harvesting. On December 2 in North Dakota, the corn harvest was 88% complete, while the soybean harvest was 95% complete. On the same date in Kansas, 11% of the sorghum and sunflowers had not yet been harvested.
In the South, showers are shifting southward across Florida’s peninsula and decreasing in coverage. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the South. Wet soils continue to hamper summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting in some areas. In Louisiana, where only 65% of the sugarcane had been harvested and 68% of the winter wheat had been planted by December 2, topsoil moisture was rated 53% surplus.
In the West, mostly dry weather accompanies near- or below-normal temperatures. In California, however, an approaching storm system is resulting in thickening cloudiness and a few showers.
Below-normal temperatures will continue to dominate much of the country during the next several days. Meanwhile, a slow-moving storm system will affect California through mid-week before drifting across the nation’s southern tier. With cold air positioned north of the storm, a broad area of the country, from the Four Corners States to the middle Atlantic Coast, will experience wintry precipitation, including snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Heavy rain, totaling 1 to 3 inches or more, will fall from the western Gulf Coast region into the Southeast, excluding Florida’s peninsula.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures in the Great Basin, as well as the southern and eastern U.S. Warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the Rockies, northwestern half of the Plains, and across the nation’s northern tier as far east as the upper Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from the northern Plains into the Northeast will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across the South and West.