Warm, largely dry weather holds across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, warm, dry weather is promoting corn and soybean maturation and harvesting, although cloudiness is encroaching from the south. Wednesday’s high temperatures will approach or reach 90° in parts of the western Corn Belt.
On the Plains, scattered showers associated with a weak cold front are crossing the Dakotas. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather remains nearly ideal for summer crop dry down and harvesting. On September 20, the U.S. sorghum harvest was 27% complete, with state progress ranging from 2% harvested in Kansas and Nebraska to 81% in Texas. With winter wheat planting well underway (20% complete, nationally), rain will soon be needed in the driest areas of the Plains.
In the South, the remnants of Tropical Storm Beta are drifting toward the east-northeast near the upper Texas coast. Torrential rain has ended in the Houston metropolitan area, but flash flooding remains a threat from near the Texas-Louisiana border to the Mississippi Delta, where producers are monitoring open-boll cotton and other unharvested summer crops. Meanwhile, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork in the southern Atlantic States.
In the West, widespread precipitation accompanies a surge of cooler air into the Pacific Northwest. The remainder of the West is experiencing warm, dry weather. Poor air quality from wildfire smoke remains a problem in several areas, including California’s Central Valley and much of southern Oregon. The largest wildfire in California’s history, the lightning-sparked August Complex in the Mendocino National Forest, is nearly 40% contained after burning more than three-quarters of a million acres of timber, chaparral, and grass.