Early-fall storm winds through the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, a strong albeit slow-moving cold front is bringing an end to the recent spell of favorable harvest weather, with a band of showers currently bisecting the region. Behind the front, cold, windy conditions have settled over the upper Midwest, while one more day of warm, dry weather is facilitating fieldwork ahead of the front in the eastern Corn Belt.
On the Plains, a strong storm and its associated cold front have cleared the region, ushering in dry but colder-than-normal weather. Freeze Warnings and Frost Advisories were in effect Thursday morning from western South Dakota into northwestern Kansas and northeastern Colorado. Thursday’s highs will average 5 to 15°F below normal over the northern half of the region, while warmth lingers over the southeastern Plains. Drought remains entrenched over the entire region, though much of Kansas remains drought free.
In the South, dry, very warm weather continues to facilitate a rapid pace of summer crop maturation and harvesting. However, pockets of pronounced short-term dryness have developed from the eastern Carolinas northward into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
In the West, mostly dry weather prevails save for some lingering rain and mountain snow showers from the Pacific Northwest into the northern and central Rockies. Producers and land-use managers are awaiting the onset of cool-season rain and mountain snow (2021-22 Water Year), which typically begins in late October and November.