Another change in weather underway across the Heartland


Another change in weather underway across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather in advance of an approaching cold front is promoting late-season corn and soybean harvest efforts, especially in wetter areas east of the Mississippi River. On November 21, Michigan led the Midwest with topsoil moisture rated 51% surplus, followed by Ohio (28%) and Indiana (24%). Wednesday’s high temperatures should reach or exceed 60°F as far north as the middle Mississippi Valley.

On the Plains, dry weather prevails, aside from spotty snow showers in Montana and North Dakota. Cooler air is overspreading the northwestern half of the Plains. Across the region, Wednesday’s high temperatures should range from around 25°F near the Canadian border to 70°F or higher in much of Texas. Drought continues to adversely affect the Plains’ winter wheat, especially in Montana and across the southern half of the High Plains.

In the South, frost was reported early Wednesday as far south as northern Florida, while growing season-ending freezes reached into the coastal Carolinas and southern Georgia. The Southeastern cold spell should aid with cotton defoliation in areas where the crop had not yet been ready for harvest. On November 21, Georgia and South Carolina led the Southeast in slowness of the cotton harvest, with 33% of the crop remaining in the field in both states.

In the West, mild, mostly dry weather favors late-autumn fieldwork. Arizona’s cotton harvest was 71% complete by November 21, ahead of the 5-year average of 65%. The Pacific Northwest is getting a short reprieve from excessive wetness, while an elevated to critical wildfire threat exists today across the coastal mountains of southern California.