Across the Corn Belt, cold, dry weather favors corn and soybean harvesting in areas where fields have frozen or are dry enough to support heavy equipment. Other complicating factors related to harvest include a variable (but generally shallow) snow cover, as well as a high moisture content for crops that remain in the field. Only 15% of North Dakota’s corn acreage had been harvested by November 10, compared to the 5-year average of 76%.
On the Plains, dry weather favors fieldwork, including harvest activities and late-season winter wheat planting efforts. Mild weather has returned across the northern High Plains, but chilly conditions linger farther south and east. Dry conditions are resulting in some uneven stands of winter wheat across portions of the central High Plains.
In the South, rain is falling from southern and eastern Texas to the central Gulf Coast. The remainder of the South continues to experience unusually cool weather, although temperatures are generally not as low as those observed on Wednesday. Harvest activities continue in areas experiencing dry weather; on November 10, the U.S. peanut harvest was 89% complete, while the Delta cotton harvest ranged from 71% complete in Missouri to 96% complete in Louisiana.
In the West, mild, dry weather prevails, despite an increase in cloudiness. The winter wet season has been slow to start in some areas, including much of California and the Great Basin.
A storm system developing near the western Gulf Coast will move eastward, delivering wind and rain to the southern Atlantic region during the weekend. Early next week, the storm will produce some rain and snow in the Northeast. Meanwhile, Western warmth will gradually expand eastward, encompassing the Plains by early next week. Chilly conditions will linger, however, across the eastern one-third of the country. Elsewhere, precipitation will be mostly light and confined to the North. One exception will be the Pacific Northwest, where locally heavy rain (and high-elevation snow) will fall from the northern Cascades westward.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or below-normal temperatures from the Mississippi Valley eastward, while warmer-than-normal weather will cover much of the western and central U.S. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal precipitation across much of the country, including the Plains, Midwest, Southwest, and Northeast, should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in northern California, the Northwest, and most of the Southeast.