In the West, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork, including Northwestern wheat planting and the Arizona cotton harvest. However, an upper-air disturbance in the Southwest is producing some rain and high-elevation snow.

On the Plains, rain and snow are providing much-needed moisture for winter wheat in Montana. In contrast, dry conditions across the central and southern Great Plains are maintaining severe to exceptional drought, with producers keeping a close eye on a developing storm system set to arrive at week’s end.

In the Corn Belt, cool, unsettled weather prevails as another cold front sweeps across the region. In the vicinity of the front, rain showers are affecting the upper Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, corn and soybean harvesting are proceeding rapidly in the Ohio Valley under mostly sunny skies.

In the South, showers are limited to the northern Delta. Elsewhere, dry weather favors an acceleration of fieldwork, including cotton, soybean, and peanut harvesting.

Outlook: Except for some showers in the northern Delta, a cold front currently over the western Corn Belt will produce little, if any, precipitation as it approaches the southern and eastern U.S. Behind the front, high pressure will provide mostly dry, cool weather across the eastern half of the nation, although temperatures will rebound over the weekend. Meanwhile, a disturbance producing light rain and high-elevation snow in the Southwest will track to the central Plains, where an intensifying area of low pressure will begin to take shape. As this system organizes and moves into the upper Midwest, increasingly heavy rain will develop from the southern Plains and Delta into the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, much-needed rain and mountain snow will gradually arrive in the Northwest, where total precipitation may exceed 5 inches (liquid equivalent) by early next week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 16-20 calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures in the northwestern quarter of the nation. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across the eastern and northern U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in central and southern portions of the Rockies and Plains.