In the West, a warm weather pattern continues. However, slightly cooler air is overspreading the Northwest, accompanied by highly beneficial showers. Due to dry conditions, winter wheat emergence slightly lags the normal pace in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
On the Plains, unusually warm weather continues to promote winter wheat development across southern areas. However, extremely dry conditions persist across the northwestern half of the Plains. On October 14, winter wheat emergence was at least 20 percentage points behind the 5-year average in Colorado (51% emerged versus the average of 72%), Montana (25 vs. 53%), Nebraska (47 vs. 77%), and South Dakota (11 vs. 67%).
In the Corn Belt, cool conditions linger across the lower Great Lakes region, but warm air is spreading across the remainder of the Midwest. Isolated showers are spreading across the upper Midwest. The U.S. corn harvest, 79% complete on October 14, is advancing at a record-setting pace, in spite of recent rainfall.
In the South, mild, dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and harvest activities for cotton, soybeans, and peanuts.
Outlook: A storm system moving into southwestern Canada will drift eastward, reaching the Great Lakes region and intensifying after mid-week. The storm will stall over the Midwest before finally lifting into eastern Canada during the weekend. Widespread showers and thunderstorms along the storm’s trailing cold front will be heaviest— with rainfall totals up to 1 to 2 inches—from the Mississippi Valley into the Northeast. In contrast, dry weather will prevail through week’s end from California to the central and southern Plains. Elsewhere, late-week precipitation will become heavier across the Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 21-25 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in Montana and the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across roughly the northern one-half to two-thirds of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather across the South, stretching from the Four Corners States into the lower Southeast.