In the West, warm, dry weather continues to promote a rapid fieldwork pace. However, some Northwestern producers—mainly in Idaho and Oregon—are refraining from planting wheat due to dry conditions.
On the Plains, historically dry conditions are delaying winter wheat seeding and hampering emergence across the northwestern half of the region, especially from Nebraska to Montana. Meanwhile across the southern High Plains, showers are limiting fieldwork but benefiting newly planted winter wheat.
In the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather prevails, except for lingering showers in the vicinity of the Ohio River. Corn and soybean harvesting continues to advance at a phenomenal pace. In the last two decades, the record portion of U.S. corn harvested by the end of September was 35% in 2000; this year, 39% had been cut by September 23.
In the South, very, warm dry weather favors fieldwork, including harvest activities for a variety of summer crops. Showers are confined to the northern fringe of the region, such as the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.
Outlook: The interaction between a slow-moving cold front and remnant moisture associated with former eastern Pacific Hurricane Miriam will maintain showery conditions across the southern Plains and the Gulf Coast region. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, from central and southern Texas into the Southeast. In contrast, a period of warm, dry weather will continue in the West and from the northern Plains into the upper Midwest. Early next week, however, a strong push of cold air will arrive across northern portions of the Rockies and Plains. Rain and snow showers will accompany the surge of cold air. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 3-7 calls for below-normal precipitation in the Pacific Coast States and from southern California to the lower Mississippi Valley, but wet weather will prevail across the northern High Plains and the Great Lakes and Eastern States. Meanwhile, above-normal temperatures in the East and Southwest will contrast with colder-than-normal conditions from the northern Rockies into the upper Midwest.