A change in weather begins across the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather across the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes region continues to promote late-season corn and soybean harvesting. In the upper Midwest, where harvest activities are largely complete, colder air is arriving.
On the Plains, temperatures have fallen to more seasonable levels, following a period of record-setting warmth. Friday’s high temperatures will range from sub-freezing values in northern North Dakota to near the 80-degree mark in west-central Texas. According to the November 17 U.S. Drought Monitor, 41% of the U.S. winter wheat production area is experiencing drought, including all wheat acreage in Colorado and Nebraska.
In the South, widely scattered showers are occurring across Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere in the Southeast, dry weather and warmer conditions favors an acceleration of fieldwork previously delayed by autumn wetness. On November 15, only 40% of Virginia’s cotton had been harvested, compared to the 5-year average of 82%. Cotton was 59% harvested on the same date in North Carolina and South Carolina.
In the West, cool air has settled across the northern half of the region, where winter grains are benefiting from recent topsoil moisture improvements. Meanwhile, gusty offshore winds are developing in parts of southern California as a high-pressure system builds across the northern Intermountain West. Elsewhere, warmth lingers across the Desert Southwest, where fieldwork such as Arizona’s cotton harvest—61% complete on November 15—is advancing.