USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, locally heavy rain this morning in central portions of the region is generally falling south of areas hit by recent flooding. Meanwhile, warm, sunny weather is promoting fieldwork in the eastern Corn Belt.
In the South, USDA states dry weather is accelerating seasonal fieldwork and favoring preparations in advance of approaching intense Hurricane Matthew. Showers associated with the outer bands of Matthew are beginning to fall over southern and eastern Florida. Crops most vulnerable to the potential heavy rain are cotton and peanuts (16% and 28% harvested, respectively, as of October 2) as well as citrus.
On the Plains, locally heavy rain is easing drought in southeastern portions of the region, while showers over the central High Plains are improving soil moisture for winter wheat establishment. Across the rest of the Plains, mostly dry weather is promoting winter wheat planting and summer crop harvesting, USDA reports.
In the West, rain and high-elevation snow are falling across the central Rockies. Dry, cooler-than-normal weather elsewhere is encouraging fieldwork, including summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting, USDA states.
In its outlook, USDA says intense Hurricane Matthew, currently located southeast of Florida over the western Bahamas, is expected to track north and then northeast along or near the Southeastern Coast, producing heavy rain, strong winds and a dangerous storm surge from Florida’s Atlantic Coast to the Outer Banks. Unfortunately, rain from this system will remain east of the interior Southeast’s core drought areas. A stationary frontal boundary will generate heavy showers and thunderstorms over the nation’s mid-section before moving toward the Atlantic Coast over the weekend as a cold front; this front will push Matthew offshore, but provide little – if any – much-needed rain to New England. Dry, warmer weather is expected across much of the west, though locally heavy rain is expected to return to the Northwest while monsoon showers resume in the Four Corners Region, USDA concludes.