Mild weather continues for most of the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, mild, breezy conditions are developing across areas west of the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, cool, cloudy weather lingers across portions of the eastern Corn Belt. Midwestern producers, especially those in the western Corn Belt, continue to take advantage of “open” weather to perform farm maintenance activities.
On the Plains, record-setting warmth is returning in advance of an approaching cold front. Tuesday’s high temperatures will exceed 60° as far north as central South Dakota. However, windy weather accompanies the warmth, especially across the northern Plains. Due to lack of snow cover, winter wheat is exposed to potential weather extremes. In addition, 39% of the U.S. winter wheat production area is currently experiencing drought.
In the South, dry weather prevails, although some fog has developed in the central Gulf Coast region. In wetter areas of the Southeast, producers are still trying to complete harvest activities. In Florida, for example, 92% of the cotton had been harvested by December 20, compared to the 5-year average of 99%.
In the West, a low-pressure system traversing the northern Rockies is producing windy weather, accompanied by rain and snow showers. Cooler air is arriving in the Pacific Northwest, but mild, dry weather covers the Southwest.