Drier weather settles-in to much of the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, sprinkles and snow flurries are confined to the Great Lakes region. Elsewhere, cool, dry weather prevails. A patchy snow cover is gradually melting in the western Corn Belt, where harvest activities were nearing completion when cold, stormy weather arrived in mid-October. In the eastern Corn Belt, a larger percentage of fields remain unharvested; for example, only about one-third of the corn was harvested by October 25 in Michigan and Ohio.
On the Plains, dry weather favors a gradual return to fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and sorghum and sunflower harvesting, following a period of cold, stormy weather. A Freeze Warning was in effect early Friday in parts of eastern Oklahoma and environs, while mild, windy weather is developing across the northern High Plains.
In the South, hurricane recovery efforts continue in the central Gulf Coast region amid cool, dry, breezy conditions. The remainder of the region is also experiencing cool, dry weather, except for a few showers crossing southern Florida. However, Southern fieldwork remains on hold in many areas, following widespread, soaking rainfall.
In the West, showers are limited to western Washington. Elsewhere, dry weather accompanies a general warming trend. According to the October 27 U.S. Drought Monitor, 78% of the 11-state Western region is experiencing drought. Some of the most significant drought is affecting Oregon, which leads the region with 86% of its rangeland and pastures and 21% of its winter wheat rated in very poor to poor condition.