In the West, warm weather has returned to the interior Northwest and continues across the remainder of the region. Fieldwork, including harvest activities for rice in California and cotton in Arizona, is proceeding. However, very dry conditions in the Northwest remain a concern with respect to the germination and establishment of rain-fed winter wheat.

On the Plains, a new surge of cold air is arriving. Rain and snow showers accompany and trail the cold front, which is crossing the central Plains. Pastures and recently planted winter grains in Montana are benefiting from last week’s precipitation, but extremely dry conditions persist across the remainder of the northern Plains.

In the Corn Belt
, cold weather is returning to the upper Midwest, accompanied by a few rain showers. In recent days, corn and soybean harvest activities have continued to advance at a record-setting pace in the upper Midwest, but fieldwork has been slowed by cool, damp conditions in the Ohio Valley.

In the South, cool but dry weather favors a return to fieldwork, following last week’s significant rainfall.

Outlook: As the week progresses, cool air will begin to recede. As a result, late-week weather patterns will feature chilly conditions mostly confined to areas from the northern Plains into the Northeast. By the weekend, temperatures will be above normal in nearly all areas from the Plains to the East Coast. Meanwhile, a fairly tranquil weather regime will become more active late in the week. By Thursday, showers will develop across the Southwest. Toward week’s end, precipitation will become more widespread across the central and southern Plains and the Midwest. Late-week rainfall could become heavy in the Great Lakes region. Elsewhere, much-needed precipitation will also overspread the Pacific Northwest, starting on Friday. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 14-18 calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near-normal temperatures in the Northeast. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in the East and Pacific Northwest will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from the Four Corners States to the Plains.