In the West, precipitation is confined to the Pacific Northwest, where colder air is moving ashore. Elsewhere, dry weather is promoting autumn fieldwork, including cotton harvesting in California and Arizona.

On the Plains, mild weather is returning to the northern tier of the region, including Montana. Elsewhere, cold weather prevails on the central Plains in the wake of yesterday’s beneficial rain and snow, while cold but dry conditions cover the southern Plains. In western Texas, where a widespread freeze occurred this morning, the cold weather is assisting with cotton defoliation.

In the Corn Belt, rain is halting fieldwork in the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys. Meanwhile, summer crop harvesting is nearing completion in the upper Midwest. In Minnesota, for example, the soybean harvest was complete by October 30, while only 7% of the corn remained in the field.

In the South, sharply colder air trails a cold front into areas from the Mississippi Delta westward. A narrow band of rain accompanies the front. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather in the Southeast favors winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut, and soybean harvesting.

Outlook: The storm system centered over the middle Mississippi Valley will drift eastward into the southern Mid-Atlantic States by Friday, with an additional 1 to 2 inches possible along and near the storm’s path. In the storm’s wake, cold weather will linger through the weekend in the Atlantic Coast States. A stronger surge of cold air will arrive during the weekend across the West, accompanied by widespread rain and snow showers. Weekend snow will spread as far east as the northern Plains. By early next week, drought-easing precipitation can be expected to develop across the south-central U.S. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for November 8-12 calls for above-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while colder-than-normal weather will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Southwest and along much of the Atlantic Seaboard.