Rains expanding across much of the Plains
Across the Corn Belt, showers across Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas are further easing drought but temporarily slowing harvest activities. Meanwhile, dry weather in the eastern Corn Belt favors corn and soybean maturation and harvesting, along with winter wheat planting, following the heavy-rain event of September 20-23.
On the Plains, rain is falling in several areas, including the eastern Dakotas and parts of Texas. Meanwhile, dry weather prevails across the northern High Plains, where scattered frost was reported early Friday. Although many sections of the Plains have received beneficial rain in recent days, some areas remain very dry. For example, September rainfall totaled less than one-half inch in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (0.46 inch, or 12 percent of normal); Wichita Falls, Texas (0.34 inch, or 11 percent); Havre, Montana (0.05 inch, or 5 percent); and Glasgow, Montana (0.03 inch, or 3 percent).
In the South, heavy rain across the western Gulf Coast region continues to delay late-season fieldwork. Meanwhile in the Southeast, warm, mostly dry weather favors crop development, including cotton and soybean maturation, as well as harvest efforts for crops such as corn, rice, and peanuts.
In the West, lingering showers are confined to the southern Rockies. The remainder of the region is experiencing dry weather, accompanied by a warming trend. In fact, Friday’s high temperatures should top 90°F throughout the Desert Southwest and much of California’s Central Valley. On September 26 in California, cotton bolls were 80% open, versus the 5-year average of 52%, while the rice harvest was 25% complete, compared with the average of 17%.