In the West, warm, dry weather across the northern half of the region contrasts with cool, showery conditions in the Four Corners States. Northwestern warmth is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork.

On the Plains, hot weather lingers across much of Texas, but sharply cooler conditions prevail elsewhere. This morning’s temperatures dipped below 32°F in parts of North Dakota and eastern Montana. Meanwhile, beneficial showers dot the central and southern Plains, especially in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.

In the Corn Belt, markedly colder air is entering the northern tier of the region, although no freezes were noted in major agricultural production areas. In advance of a strong cold front, showers and thunderstorms are delaying early-season harvest activities across the southern Corn Belt.

In the South, warm, dry weather favors summer crop maturation and harvesting. A few showers are just entering the northwestern fringe of the region, including Arkansas.

Outlook: The NWS has issued a freeze warning, effective Thursday morning, for much of the upper Midwest, including much of North Dakota, Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, northern Iowa, and northwestern Wisconsin. Growing season-ending freezes can be expected in the warned area. By Friday morning, frosty conditions will shift into the Great Lakes region (e.g. Wisconsin and Michigan) and the interior Northeast. In the northern Corn Belt, from North Dakota to Michigan, the amount of corn dented on September 11 ranged from 61 to 83%, while full maturity ranged from 6 to 10%. Similarly, the portion of soybeans with lower leaves yellowing ranged from 31 to 48%, while soybeans dropping leaves ranged from 6 to 13%. By week’s end, cool weather will linger in the East, while warmth will continue in the Northwest and return to the Plains. During the next few days, the most significant rain (generally 1 to 2 inches) will stretch from the southern Rockies into the Mid-South, including portions of the central and southern Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for September 19-23 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and near- to below-normal precipitation across much of the U.S. Cooler-than-normal weather will be limited to the Southeast, while wetter-than-normal conditions will be confined to the middle and northern Atlantic coastal plain and portions of the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.