A big change underway across the Heartland


A big change underway across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, a sharp cold front extends from Lake Michigan into northwestern Missouri. East of the front, record-setting warmth continues to promote corn and soybean harvesting. Farther west, however, cold weather accompanies a quick, post-frontal transition from rain to freezing rain and snow. Early Tuesday, accumulating snow is falling in parts of Nebraska and portions of neighboring states. By November 8, however, the soybean harvest was complete in Nebraska and North Dakota—and more than 95% complete in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

On the Plains, weather conditions in Montana have improved, following recent snowfall, although Tuesday morning’s minimum temperatures fell below 10° in some locations. Currently, snow has moved into Nebraska and portions of surrounding states, while lingering warmth is confined to eastern sections of Oklahoma and Texas. Despite recent and ongoing precipitation, more than one-fifth of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition on November 8 in Colorado (28% very poor to poor), Texas (27%), Kansas (23%), and Nebraska (21%).

In the South, Tropical Storm Eta has drifted to a position just north of the western tip of Cuba, with diminishing wind- and rainfall-related impacts in Florida. Still, November 5-9 rainfall totaled 6 to 12 inches or more in many locations across southern Florida, causing local flooding and halting vegetable planting preparations, as well as citrus and sugarcane harvesting. Elsewhere in the South, warm, dry weather favors harvesting of crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans.

In the West, cold, mostly dry weather prevails. Early Tuesday, scattered rain and snow showers are confined to the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest. Recent precipitation provided some relief from dry conditions, but more storminess will be needed for further recovery due to the extent and severity of the Western drought.

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