Weather report: Cool and dry in the West

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In the West, cool, dry weather prevails across the Intermountain region, but warmth is already returning to the Pacific Coast States. A few showers are affecting recently flooded areas in the central and southern Rockies.

On the Plains, a broken line of shower activity accompanies a cold front. In the front’s wake, cooler air is overspreading the northern Plains, but late-season heat lingers across the southeastern Plains. In general, showers are boosting soil moisture for the upcoming winter wheat establishment period.

In the Corn Belt, late-season warmth prevails in advance of a cold front stretching from Minnesota to Nebraska. Showers and thunderstorms are developing in the vicinity of the cold front—and also near a warm front draped across the northern and eastern Corn Belt—slowing early-season harvest activities but providing relief from recent heat and dryness.

In the South, very warm, mostly dry weather is promoting summer crop maturation and harvesting. Isolated showers are generally confined to areas along the central and western Gulf Coast.

Outlook: A broken line of showers in the vicinity of a cold front currently stretching from Minnesota to New Mexico will continue to move eastward, reaching the Atlantic Seaboard during the weekend. Rainfall totals associated with the front’s passage could locally reach 1 to 2 inches, except for 2 to 4 inches across the Deep South. Moisture associated with eastern Pacific Hurricane Manuel and a potential tropical system over the southern Gulf of Mexico may contribute to heavy showers across the southern tier of the U.S. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will prevail in the Southwest, but precipitation will overspread the Pacific Northwest beginning on Friday. Due to the progression of cold fronts across the U.S., rapid temperature fluctuations can be expected during the next several days—with warmth in advance of the fronts currently crossing the Plains and Midwest and approaching the Pacific Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 24-28 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures from the Plains to the East Coast, while cooler-than-normal will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall across the interior Southeast and the eastern Corn Belt will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across Florida’s peninsula and from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest.

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