In the West, late-summer heat and dryness are discouraging producers from winter wheat planting, especially in Idaho and Oregon. Fieldwork continues at a rapid pace elsewhere in the region.

On the Plains, widespread soil moisture shortages are delaying winter wheat planting, with severe to exceptional drought firmly entrenched from South Dakota and Wyoming into Texas. Recent showers have improved soil moisture on the southern Plains, although more rain is needed to facilitate winter grain establishment.

In the Corn Belt, cool, showery weather is slowing fieldwork and summer crop drydown, although dry, warm conditions persist in western portions of the region.

In the South, dry, mild weather is promoting summer crop drydown and seasonal fieldwork. However, showers linger in Florida and are approaching the northern Delta along a slow-moving cold front.

Outlook: A cold front currently draped across the Midwest will bring the coolest air of the season to the eastern half of the nation. Despite the temperature contrast, rain associated with the front will be mostly confined to the Midwest and Northeast. Behind the front, hard freezes are expected from the Dakotas into the upper Midwest. Out west, sunny skies and above-normal temperatures will prevail from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast, although some showers may return to the central and northern Rockies and eastern Great Basin by early next week. Meanwhile, the prognosis for drought relief on the Plains is bleak, with no appreciable rainfall expected over the next five days. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 26-30 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures over the eastern half of the nation to contrast with warmer-than-normal conditions in the Great Basin and northern portions of the Rockies and Plains. Drier-than-normal weather is anticipated across much of the nation, with the best chances of surplus rainfall in the Southwest, southern Plains, southern Florida, and the eastern Great Lakes.