Saturday's weather map
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Across the Corn Belt, a cold front is generating a few rain and snow showers, mainly in the Great Lakes region. In the front’s wake, chilly weather prevails. Early Friday, temperatures fell below 10° in a few upper Midwestern locations, including Spencer, Iowa, and Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Upper Midwestern harvesting is nearly complete, but any remaining fieldwork is being delayed snow that remains on the ground from the November 10 storm, which produced 7.2 inches in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and 5.5 inches in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

On the Plains, cool, dry weather prevails. Friday morning’s low temperatures fell below 20° as far south as portions of Kansas. Patchy drought continues to hinder winter wheat establishment in some areas, particularly across the central and southern High Plains. However, dry soils favor fieldwork, including sorghum harvesting, which nationally was 90% complete by November 8—compared to the 5-year average of 80%.

In the South, Post-Tropical Storm Eta is moving away from the middle Atlantic coastline, with diminishing impacts. However, many fields in the southern Atlantic States remain saturated, with no immediate prospects for resuming fieldwork. Harvest of Southeastern crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans has been delayed in recent weeks by multiple tropical rainfall events, with crop quality in some cases suffering due to the adverse weather conditions. Farther west, however, dry weather in the Mississippi Delta and environs is promoting autumn fieldwork.

In the West, a high-wind event is unfolding across the Pacific Northwest, accompanied by heavy rain and high-elevation snow. Wind gusts to 75 mph or higher may occur Friday along the northern Pacific Coast, extending as far south as the Sierra Nevada and the northern Great Basin. Meanwhile, beneficial precipitation is overspreading Northwestern winter wheat production areas.

Unsettled weather will continue for the next several days from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Higher elevations of the Cascades and northern Rockies will receive significant snowfall, while local flooding may occur in western sections of Oregon and Washington. Meanwhile, mostly dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days across the Plains, Southeast, and Southwest. However, scattered weekend showers will affect the mid-South, Midwest, and Northeast. By early next week, warmth will return across areas from California to the central and southern High Plains, while chilly conditions will persist across the North.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the middle and northern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation along and east of a line from eastern Texas to Michigan should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Pacific Northwest, northern Rockies, and portions of the northern and central Plains.

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

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