In the West, cooler air is overspreading the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. Meanwhile, a cold front is crossing the central Rockies and the Intermountain West, preceded and accompanied by a few showers. In California and Arizona, the cotton harvest is progressing slightly ahead of the average pace.

On the Plains, a few rain showers are spreading across northern areas, particularly North Dakota. Meanwhile across the southern half of the region, dry weather accompanies record-setting warmth. Today’s highs will approach 90°F in Texas, where half of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition on October 23.

In the Corn Belt, cool, showery weather is slowing fieldwork across the northern tier of the Midwest, including Michigan. Warm, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest. Late-season warmth is especially beneficial in Ohio, where the corn crop was only 76% mature and 14% harvested by October 23.

In the South, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut, and soybean harvesting.

Outlook: A strong cold front will push quickly to the south and east, resulting in a mid- to late-week turn toward cool weather nearly nationwide. By Thursday morning, temperatures will fall below 20°F as far south as the central High Plains. However, temperatures will quickly rebound across the western half of the U.S., with warmer-than-normal weather returning by week’s end. Chilly conditions will linger into next week across the East. Precipitation associated with the cold front will be heaviest—with 1 to 2 inches expected—across the central and southern Rockies (and adjacent High Plains), where significant snow will fall, and from the southeastern Plains into the Ohio Valley and southern New England. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 30 – November 3 calls for below-normal temperatures in the Southeast, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail north and west of a line from the southern High Plains to the upper Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across much of the southern half of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in southern Florida and across the nation’s northern tier.