In the West, markedly cooler air is overspreading the interior Northwest, where very dry conditions remain an impediment to the emergence and establishment of rain-fed winter grains. Meanwhile, the threat of wildfire activity is increasing across the Four Corners region under a warm, windy, dry weather regime.

On the Plains, a few thunderstorms—associated with the passage of a strong cold front—are affecting eastcentral portions of the region. In the wake of the front’s passage, cold air blankets the northern Plains, while snow lingers in portions of North Dakota. The sudden cold spell is slowing winter wheat emergence, although the northern Plains’ wheat will eventually benefit from yesterday’s precipitation, which in Montana included 1.3 inches of snow in Great Falls and nearly a half-inch of rain in Havre.

In the Corn Belt, the passage of a strong cold front—and its attendant rainfall—is slowing the record-setting pace of corn and soybean harvesting across the upper Midwest. Meanwhile in the eastern Corn Belt, a final day of warm weather favors fieldwork.

In the South, scattered showers linger in the Atlantic Coast States, but warm, dry weather across the remainder of the region favors harvest activities and other autumn fieldwork.

Outlook: For the remainder of today and on Friday, the coldest air of the season will overspread the Plains and Midwest. Late-week freezes can be expected throughout the northern and central Plains and much of the Midwest. During the weekend, any residual warmth will be confined to the Far West and the lower Southeast. Precipitation associated with the cold outbreak will be limited, although some 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals may occur late in the week from the Mid-South into the Northeast. Snow across the north-central U.S., including parts of North Dakota and northern Minnesota, will end tonight or early Friday. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 9-13 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in the south-central U.S. and the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in southern portions of the Rockies and Plains, and from the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region into the Northeast, will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the western Gulf Coast region and from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest.