Across the Corn Belt, several Midwestern locations completed a record-wet October. Among those places was Des Moines, Iowa, where October precipitation totaled 7.41 inches (281% of normal). Currently, cold weather is limiting evaporation rates from still-soggy or snow-covered fields. At daybreak, snow depths included 5 inches in Madison, Wisconsin, and 3 inches in Rockford, Illinois. Wet and/or snow-covered soils, along with delayed crop maturation, are helping to maintain the slowest harvest pace for U.S. corn and soybeans since 2009.
On the Plains, an early-season cold snap continues to slow winter wheat emergence and establishment. Currently, a few patches of rain and snow, accompanied by breezy conditions, are affecting the northern half of the Plains. Parts of the northern and central Plains retain a snow cover in the wake of the recent storm.
In the South, Freeze Warnings were in effect early Friday along and northwest of a line from south-central Texas to northern Georgia. Meanwhile, sharply colder air is arriving in the Atlantic Coast States, accompanied by gusty winds. Thursday’s thunderstorms resulted in numerous reports of wind damage—mostly downed trees and local power outages—in the southern Appalachians and adjacent foothills.
In the West, mild weather in California, the western Great Basin, and the Desert Southwest contrasts with an ongoing cold wave across the Rockies and environs. Although winds have begun to diminish across southern California, an elevated threat of wildfires persists, especially in parts of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
Much of the country will enter a period of relatively tranquil, albeit cold, weather during the next several days. Periods of light precipitation will be mostly limited to the North, primarily from the northern Plains to New England. At times, patches of light rain may affect the Deep South. Meanwhile, dry weather will cover the remainder of the country, stretching from the Pacific Coast eastward to the southern half of the Plains, the lower Mississippi Valley, and the southern Appalachians. During the next 5 days, colder-than-normal weather will dominate areas from the Plains eastward, while near or above-normal temperatures should cover much of the West.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures across most of the country, while warmer-than-normal conditions will be confined to the lower Southeast, California, the Great Basin, and the Desert Southwest. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal precipitation across much of the central and eastern U.S. should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the western Corn Belt and most areas west of the Rockies.