Weather, temps vary greatly throughout the Heartland


Weather, temps vary greatly throughout the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, snow has temporarily ended across the upper Midwest. On October 19, snowfall totaled 7.9 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; 6.9 inches in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; and 4.2 inches in Fargo, North Dakota. Prior to the arrival of colder, stormier weather, at least 90% of the soybeans had been harvested (by October 18) in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Farther east, rain showers in the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region are slowing fieldwork but improving topsoil moisture for recently planted winter wheat.

On the Plains, cold weather across the northern half of the region contrasts with warmth in Oklahoma and Texas. On the northern Plains, recently planted winter wheat is benefiting from precipitation—including early-season snow—although the cold, wet conditions are limiting wheat development and slowing or halting summer crop harvesting. Meanwhile, winter wheat in drought-affected areas of the central and southern Plains needs moisture for germination and establishment.

In the South, showers are mostly confined to the southern Atlantic region. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and harvesting of crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans.

In the West, warm, dry weather lingers across California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest. In addition, an elevated wildfire threat exists in parts of northern California. Meanwhile in the Northwest, scattered showers accompany cool conditions. On October 18, Northwestern winter wheat emergence ranged from 21% in Oregon to 65% in Washington.

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