In the West, isolated showers are mostly confined to the northern half of the region. Meanwhile, dry weather has returned to the central and southern Rockies, following the recent spate of heavy rain that provided drought relief but triggered major flooding. Recovery efforts from the flooding continue in parts of Colorado.
On the Plains, scattered showers stretch from Texas to eastern Kansas. Meanwhile, hot, dry weather prevails across the northwestern half of the Plains. The rain is benefiting pastures and newly planted winter wheat, while the hot, dry conditions favor winter wheat planting and other fieldwork. On September 15, winter wheat planting on the Plains ranged from 5% complete in Kansas to 22% complete in Colorado and Nebraska.
In the Corn Belt, frost advisories were in effect early today in parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, primarily north of the major corn and soybean production areas. Meanwhile, scattered rain showers are spreading into Iowa and Missouri. On September 15, corn fully mature ranged from 5% in Minnesota to 43% in Missouri among the Midwestern States, while soybeans dropping leaves ranged from 7% in Iowa to 59% in North Dakota.
In the South, dry weather favors summer crop maturation and harvesting, although drought remains a concern from the Mississippi Delta westward. Showers are limited to southern Texas and the southern Atlantic Coast.
Outlook: The plume of tropical moisture that affected the Southwest last week has shifted to the east and currently stretches from Texas to Iowa. Later in the week, the tropical plume will interact with a cold front approaching from the west. As a result, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, in many areas east of a line from Texas to Wisconsin. Significant precipitation, locally 1 to 2 inches, may also occur from the Pacific Northwest to the northern High Plains. Very warm weather will prevail in advance of the cold front, but cooler air will briefly sweep into the nation’s mid-section by week’s end. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 22-26 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Great Basin and the Pacific Coast States. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in parts of the Southwest and from the Tennessee Valley into the lower Great Lakes region.