Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage. Some producers are harvesting soybeans before cutting corn, with the soybean harvest one-quarter to one-third complete by September 27 in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Iowa’s soybean harvest was 30% complete, versus the 5-year average of 8%.
On the Plains, mild, breezy conditions are developing across Montana and expanding eastward. Meanwhile, cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. Drought-related slow emergence remains a concern in some winter wheat production areas. On September 27, topsoil moisture was rated at least 60% very short to short in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Producers in Colorado had planted 66% of their intended winter wheat acreage, 9 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average, but only 19% of the crop had emerged, 8 points behind average.
In the South, showers in the vicinity of a cold front extend southwestward from the Appalachians to the central Gulf Coast. Locally heavy showers are also occurring along the Atlantic Coast. As the harvest season continues, some areas are contending with wet conditions due to three tropical cyclones (Hurricanes Laura and Sally, along with Tropical Storm Beta) in little more than a month. On September 27, topsoil moisture was at least 20% surplus in eight Southern States.
In the West, dry weather continues to deplete soil moisture and severely stress rangeland and pastures. On September 27, topsoil moisture was rated more than 60% short in every Western State except Arizona. Meanwhile, Western rangeland and pastures were rated at least one-half very poor to poor in all states except Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. In addition, several dangerous and destructive fires continue to burn in California. Northern California blazes that ignited on September 27—the Glass and Zogg Fires—have each scorched more than 30,000 acres, with no containment.
Locally heavy showers will linger through mid-week in the East. As rain spreads northward, some drought relief can be expected in the Northeast. Later in the week, some of the coldest air of the season will overspread the Midwest. By October 2-3, widespread freezes should occur from Nebraska and the Dakotas into the Great Lakes region. Elsewhere, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days across the western half of the U.S., although unusually warm weather in the West will contrast with chilly conditions in most areas east of the Rockies.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures across much of the eastern half of the country, while warmer-than-normal weather will cover southern Florida and areas from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions along and near the Atlantic Seaboard should contrast with near- or below-normal precipitation across the remainder of the U.S.