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. However, recent showers have improved soil moisture on the southern Plains, benefiting rangeland, pastures, and newly-planted winter grains.

In the Corn Belt, showers linger in northern crop districts, slowing fieldwork and summer crop maturation. Cool, drier weather prevails elsewhere following recent beneficial rainfall.

In the South, dry, cool weather is promoting summer crop drydown and seasonal fieldwork. However, showers linger in Florida along a stalled frontal boundary.

Outlook: Dry weather will prevail across most of the nation into the weekend. Rain chances will be greatest along a stalled frontal boundary in southern Florida, while a series of disturbances will maintain unsettled, increasingly cool conditions in the Midwest. Cold weather will also settle into eastern portions of the northern and central Plains, with weekend freezes likely across the Dakotas and upper Midwest. Otherwise, dry, warmer weather will return to the southern and eastern U.S., although a slow-moving cold front will usher chilly conditions into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by early next week. Out west, sunny skies and above-normal temperatures will prevail from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast. In addition, the prognosis for drought relief on the Plains is bleak, with no appreciable rainfall expected over the next 5 days. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 25-29 calls for cooler-thannormal conditions over the eastern half of the U.S., while above-normal temperatures expected from the High Plains westward. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast wetter-than-normal weather in the Northeast, Southwest, and Florida.