In the West, isolated showers are confined to the Intermountain region. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather prevails, except for cool conditions along the immediate Pacific Coast. Washington continues to lead the nation in winter wheat planting, with 70% of the crop seeded by September 23.

On the Plains, some producers across the northwestern half of the region continue to await rain before planting winter wheat. Wheat planting is more than 10 percentage points behind the 5-year average pace in Colorado, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Nebraska has the nation’s worst pasture and rangeland conditions, with 98% rated very poor to poor on September 23.

In the Corn Belt, a cluster of thunderstorms in the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys is slowing fieldwork but providing beneficial moisture for newly planted soft red winter wheat. Elsewhere, dry weather favors harvest activities. On September 23, Minnesota and the Dakotas led the Midwest in percent of soybeans harvested, with progress in those states ranging from 45% complete in Minnesota to 56% in North Dakota.

In the South, dry weather accompanies a warming trend, except for isolated showers across Florida’s peninsula. Harvest activities are ongoing for crops such as corn, soybeans, peanuts, and rice.

Outlook: During the next several days, a nearly stationary front will be the focus for locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, from Kansas and Oklahoma eastward into the northern Mid-Atlantic region. In contrast, little or no rain will fall through week’s end across much of the West and from the northern Plains into the northern Corn Belt. Elsewhere, there is still uncertainty with regard to how much remnant moisture from eastern Pacific Hurricane Miriam will eventually reach the southwestern and south-central U.S. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 30 – October 4 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in a broad area centered on the lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from the Pacific Coast to the northern and central Plains and the upper Midwest will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the East and across the nation’s southern tier.