A winter-like “look & feel” on parts of the Plains
Across the Corn Belt, cold, unsettled weather continues to limit corn and soybean harvesting. Monday morning’s low temperatures fell below 20° throughout the upper Midwest, where a variable snow cover exists. Currently, a mix of rain and snow is overspreading the southwestern Corn Belt, including much of Missouri.
On the Plains, unusually cold weather is slowing or halting winter wheat development. Monday morning’s temperatures plunged below 0° across portions of the northern Plains, where snow remains on the ground. Early Monday, an early-season winter storm is unfolding across the southern half of the region. Precipitation types range from snow on the central High Plains to rain across the southeastern Plains, with an area of sleet and freezing rain in between. Winter wheat should benefit from the moisture, though the storm is halting fieldwork, adversely affecting cotton, and stressing livestock.
In the South, mild, dry weather has returned, following weekend showers. In areas where soils are sufficiently dry, fieldwork includes winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut, and soybean harvesting. Louisiana sugarcane producers, monitoring Tropical Storm Zeta over the western Caribbean Sea, had harvested 21% of their crop by October 18.
In the West, cold, snowy weather is aiding wildfire containment efforts in Colorado, where the East Troublesome Fire grew to more than 192,000 acres over the weekend. Snow is also providing drought relief in the southern Rockies. Meanwhile, cooler air has engulfed much of the West, although wildfires remain a threat in California and environs.