USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, a chilly rain is halting harvest activities in several areas, especially across northern corn and soybean production areas. On Oct. 23, Michigan¡¦s soybean harvest was only 51% complete, 12 percentage points behind the five-year average.
In the South, a warm, dry weather pattern continues. Some Southeastern locations, including Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Birmingham, Alabama, continue to await their first measurable rainfall of October. Winter wheat planting has been delayed in the driest areas; for example, wheat seeding on October 23 was 10 percentage points behind the respective 5-year averages in Mississippi (17% planted) and Alabama (11%), states USDA.
Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a .m. EDT (NOAA)
On the Plains, USDA says mild, mostly dry weather favors summer crop maturation and harvesting. However, several locations on the central and southern High Plains, including Garden City, Kansas, have not yet received any measurable rain in October, leaving some winter wheat with inadequate moisture for proper establishment.
In the West, a new round of precipitation is overspreading the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies, USDA reports. From Oct. 1-25, more than five times the normal precipitation has fallen at a few Northwestern locations, including Medford, Oregon. Elsewhere in the West, warm, dry weather favors autumn fieldwork.
In its outlook through Oct. 30, USDA says western storminess will gradually expand southward and farther inland. As a result, five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 8 inches or more in northern and central California and 2 to 4 inches in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, additional precipitation could total an inch or more in the northern Corn Belt and 1 to 4 inches in drought-affected areas of the Northeast. In contrast, most other areas—from the Southwest into the Southeast—will remain warm and mostly dry through week’s end. In fact, lingering cool weather will be mostly limited to the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, where some wet snow can be expected, USDA says.