In the West, rain is overspreading coastal areas of northern and central California. A few showers are also developing in the Pacific Northwest. Gusty winds accompany the increase in storminess. Elsewhere in the West, mild, dry weather continues to promote late-season fieldwork.

On the Plains, temperatures are rebounding to above-normal levels, following an early-week chill. Meanwhile, dry conditions are maintaining severe stress on winter wheat. By November 25, a significant portion (40%) of South Dakota’s winter wheat had failed to emerge. Even in Montana, where soil moisture has improved in recent weeks, wheat may have run out of time to germinate; 32% of the crop had not emerged on November 25.

In the Corn Belt, dry weather accompanies a slow warming trend. Still, this morning’s temperatures fell below 25°F throughout the Corn Belt, with a few readings near 10°F in the upper Midwest. There are still a few fields left to harvest in the eastern Corn Belt; by November 25, the corn harvest was 97% complete (versus the 5-year average of 89%) in Michigan and 95% complete (vs. the average of 90%) in Ohio.

In the South, cool, dry weather favors late-season fieldwork. In North Carolina, for example, winter wheat planting was 79% complete by November 25. On the same date, North Carolina’s cotton harvest was 88% complete, while the soybean harvest was 65% complete.

Outlook: The leading edge of an onslaught of Pacific storminess will continue to move ashore today in northern and central California. Later in the week, heavy precipitation will also overspread the Northwest. During the next 5 days, precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in the northern Rockies, 2 to 6 inches in the Pacific Northwest, and 4 to 12 inches in northern California. Most of the remainder of the U.S. will experience dry weather and a warming trend. During the weekend, temperatures will exceed 70°F as far north as Nebraska. One exception to the mild pattern will be a brief, late-week surge of cold air across the nation’s northern tier from the northern Plains to New England. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for December 3-7 calls for above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the southern Atlantic region. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across much of the southern two-thirds of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in northern California and across the nation’s northern tier.