Seasonal weather across most of the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, dry weather is promoting off-season farm activities. Following recent rainfall in the eastern Corn Belt, lingering cloudiness is limiting opportunities for drying as producers attempt to complete the 2020 corn harvest.
On the Plains, mild, dry weather favors final harvesting of crops such as sorghum and sunflowers. In addition, the Plains’ cotton harvest—which on November 22 ranged from 51% complete in Kansas to 74% complete in Texas—continues to advance. Drought, which currently covers 42% of the U.S. winter wheat production area—including all fields in Colorado and Nebraska and 70% of those in Kansas and Texas—remains a concern with respect to wheat establishment.
In the South, scattered showers and thunderstorms are developing from southern and eastern Texas to the southern Atlantic Coast. Early Friday, the heaviest rain is falling in the western Gulf Coast region. In advance of approaching rainfall, Southeastern producers are harvesting crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans, as conditions permit.
In the West, the National Weather Service issued a Freeze Warning, in effect early Friday, for the San Joaquin Valley. Cool, dry weather also prevails across the remainder of the western U.S., except for widely scattered showers associated with a disturbance crossing Arizona and western New Mexico. The disturbance is also contributing to gusty winds in southern California, leading to a heightened wildfire threat in portions of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.