Across the Corn Belt, unusually cool conditions persist. Freezes were reported Monday morning across portions of the northern Corn Belt, while frost was observed as far south as the middle Mississippi Valley. In the wake of widespread weekend freezes, producers continue to monitor emerged corn and soybeans, some of which were severely impacted by temperatures as low as 20 to 25º. Other Midwestern crops threatened by the record-setting, late-season cold outbreak include jointing to heading soft red winter wheat and a variety of fruits.
On the Plains, freezes occurred Monday morning in parts of eastern Nebraska and large sections of the Dakotas. Farther south, a chilly rain is falling early Monday, mainly across Kansas and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, producers as far south as the central Plains are monitoring winter wheat for signs of freeze injury in the wake of scattered weekend frost. Cool weather throughout the region is slowing crop development, including summer crop emergence.
In the South, cool weather persists. Weekend frost and freezes threatened sensitive vegetation in parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, leading to concern for fruits, winter wheat, and emerged summer crops. A few showers linger early Monday across southern Florida, following Sunday’s heavy rainfall.
In the West, early-season warmth continues in most areas west of the Rockies, although slightly cooler air is arriving along the Pacific Coast. Generally light precipitation is falling in several areas, including parts of the Intermountain West, while an elevated threat of wildfires and breezy conditions exist in the Great Basin.
A final surge of unusually cold air will engulf areas east of the Rockies through mid-week, followed by rapid warming. Meanwhile, mid- to late-week temperatures will fall to near- or below-normal levels across much of the West. Before the central and eastern U.S. begins to warm, frost and freezes will continue to threaten crops during the next couple of nights in parts of the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Appalachians, and northern and middle Atlantic States. During the first half of the week, generally light to moderately heavy showers will be mostly limited to the Plains, mid-South, and Northwest. Later, precipitation will continue across portions of the Plains and spread into the Midwest, with 5-day totals possibly exceeding 3 inches from the east-central Plains into the lower Great Lakes region. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail through week’s end in the Southwest and from northern Florida to Virginia.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- or above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in northern and central California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal rainfall across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the southern Rockies.