An intense, wind-driven storm sweeps the Heartland.
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Across the Corn Belt, a low-pressure system centered near Lake Michigan is producing a variety of weather hazards. Snow is blanketing the upper Mississippi Valley, while rain is soaking the eastern Corn Belt. Windy weather prevails throughout the region. Midwestern fieldwork is at a standstill, following several days with limited corn and soybean harvest opportunities. Soil saturation remains a problem in the northern Corn Belt, where topsoil moisture was rated more than one-half surplus on November 24 in Michigan (52%) and North Dakota (51%).

On the Plains, cold, dry weather prevails, following Tuesday’s storm. Significant snow remains on the ground in Nebraska and portions of neighboring states, resulting in lingering travel issues and ongoing livestock stress. However, winds have significantly diminished compared to Tuesday, when peak gusts topped 60 mph on the southern Plains.

In the South, a cold front stretching from the southern Appalachians to the central Gulf Coast is sparking scattered showers and thunderstorms. In advance of the front, harvest efforts for crops such as cotton and peanuts are nearing completion. In the front’s wake, cool, dry, breezy weather prevails from the Mississippi Delta westward.

In the West, a powerful Pacific storm is moving inland across southern Oregon and northern California. Heavy snow is falling across the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades, while rain showers are affecting valley locations in northern and central California and Oregon. High winds are raking a much broader area of the West.

The storm system currently crossing the Great Lakes region will reach New England early Thanksgiving Day. After the storm departs, Midwestern weather conditions will temporarily improve. Meanwhile, the Western storm will drive southeastward on Thanksgiving Day before traversing the Four Corners States on Friday. Mountain snow, valley rain, and high winds will continue to affect large sections of the West into Saturday. During the weekend, the low-pressure system will drift eastward across the central Plains and Midwest, generating wind and snow across the northern U.S. and showers and thunderstorms in the South. Elsewhere, a new Pacific storm system will deliver another round of rain and snow showers to the West Coast States, starting on Saturday.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in coastal California and across portions of the southern High Plains and the Southwest. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation in the eastern half of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions from California to the Rockies and northern High Plains.

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Greg Soulje, a professional meteorologist since 1985, offers national agricultural weather forecasts via "This Week in Agribusiness."