Seasonal mid-December weather for the Heartland


Seasonal mid-December weather for the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, cold, dry weather prevails. Tuesday morning’s low temperatures fell below 10° in parts of the upper Midwest. From southern Nebraska into northern Lower Michigan, some snow remains on the ground from an earlier storm; nevertheless, Midwestern weather and field conditions generally favor off-season farm activities.

On the Plains, the latest in a series of storm systems is emerging from the Rockies and crossing the nation’s mid-section. Snow is developing across portions of the central Plains, especially from eastern Colorado into Nebraska, providing beneficial moisture for drought-stressed winter wheat. Patchy snow is also falling on the southern Plains.

In the South, cool, dry weather prevails between storms. Monday’s soaking rainfall in portions of the southern Atlantic region was another setback for producers attempting to complete harvest activities. In Florida, only 87% of the cotton acreage was harvested by December 13, compared to 100% on the same date last year and the 5-year average of 96%. USDA/NASS reported that some Florida farmers noted “yields for cotton were poor this season.”

In the West, an elevated wildfire threat continues in parts of southern California due to gusty, offshore winds and low humidity levels. However, California’s largest active wildfire—the Sanderson Fire in Riverside County—has been fully contained after burning nearly 2,000 acres of cured vegetation. Elsewhere, a new Pacific storm system is producing rain and snow showers in the Northwest, primarily west of the Cascades.