In the West, unusually warm, dry weather continues to promote fieldwork, including Northwestern winter wheat planting, cotton harvesting in Arizona, and rice harvesting in California.

On the Plains, rangeland, pastures, and winter grains across the southern half of the region are benefiting from recent topsoil moisture improvements. Meanwhile, extremely dry conditions from Montana to Nebraska are maintaining severe stress on rangeland and pastures, as well as delaying seeding of some winter grains and hampering the emergence of recently planted wheat.

In the Corn Belt, mild, mostly dry weather prevails, despite widespread cloudiness. As a result, summer crop harvesting continues at a rapid pace, especially across the upper Midwest. However, showers are beginning to spread northward into the Ohio Valley.

In the South, widespread showers and thunderstorms are limiting fieldwork but maintaining generally favorably moisture reserves for cool-season pastures and soon-to-be-planted winter grains. The rain is also easing or eradicating lingering drought across the interior Southeast.

Outlook: Early-week warmth will be replaced by sharply colder conditions. Below-normal temperatures will arrive across northern portions of the Rockies and Plains by Wednesday and quickly encompass all of the Rockies, Plains, and Midwest by Friday. During the weekend, below-normal temperatures will cover virtually the entire U.S. Meanwhile, most of the week’s precipitation will be associated with a storm system currently centered near the Alabama-Mississippi border. The storm will drift northward into the eastern Corn Belt by mid-week before weakening, producing some 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals along and near its path. During the mid- to late-week period, rain and snow will accompany the surge of cold air into the north-central U.S. Some of the heaviest snow will fall along the eastern slopes of the northern Rockies. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 6-10 calls for colderthan- normal conditions nationwide, except for pockets of near- to above-normal temperatures west of the Rockies and across the nation’s southern tier. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal weather across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with above-normal precipitation across Florida’s peninsula and from the Ohio Valley into the Northeast.