In the West, unusually warm weather prevails, especially across the northern areas. However, scattered showers are providing much-needed moisture for some recently planted Northwestern winter grains.

On the Plains, record-setting warmth prevails. Today’s high temperatures will generally range from 70 to 90°F. The warmth is promoting winter wheat establishment in areas with adequate topsoil moisture, but critically dry conditions persist across the northwestern half of the Plains.

In the Corn Belt, cool, breezy conditions cover the Great Lakes region and the Ohio Valley, but warmth is quickly returning to areas west of the Mississippi River. Fieldwork continues at a rapid pace across much of the Midwest, although showers are affecting parts of Michigan.

In the South, a band of showers associated with a cold front stretches from Virginia to the central Gulf Coast. The rain is causing some minor fieldwork delays but helping to maintain generally favorable pasture conditions.

Outlook: A warm weather pattern already underway west of the Mississippi River will expand to cover the East by mid-week. At the same time, somewhat cooler weather will arrive in the Northwest on Wednesday and quickly overspread the nation’s mid-section the following day. Toward week’s end, the weather pattern will repeat, with warmth across the western two-thirds of the U.S. contrasting with cool conditions in the East. During the upcoming weekend, some of the coldest air of the season should begin to arrive across the northern Plains and the Northwest. In terms of precipitation, rain will end later today in the East, but highly beneficial showers will overspread the Northwest, northern Plains, and upper Midwest early in the week. Showers will become more numerous and heavier across the Great Lakes and Eastern States during the mid- to late-week period. Late in the week, significant precipitation will begin to overspread the Pacific Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 20-24 calls for near- to below-normal precipitation nationwide, except for wetter-than-normal weather across the nation’s northern tier from the Pacific Northwest to the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal temperatures across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest, the middle and lower Ohio Valley, and much of the Southeast.