USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, rain (wet snow in the north) is diminishing from the Upper Midwest into Iowa and Missouri. Meanwhile, warm, sunny weather is promoting fieldwork in the eastern Corn Belt.
In the South, Hurricane Matthew is moving north-northwest along the southern Atlantic Coast, generating strong winds and heavy rain from Florida into the Carolinas; wind gusts have topped 100 m.p.h. this morning at Cape Canaveral, FL. 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. However, the projected path and associated rainfall will bypass the interior Southeast’s core drought areas, USDA observes.
On the Plains, USDA reports dry but chilly conditions prevail, though showers and thunderstorms linger over southeastern portions of the region. Recent heavy rain and snow have eased drought on the northern Plains, while pockets of short-term dryness and drought have developed from the central and southern High Plains into Oklahoma.
In the West, locally heavy rain and high-elevation snow have returned to the Northwest. Dry, warmer weather elsewhere is promoting seasonal fieldwork, including summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting, USDA says.
In its outlook, USDA says that at 8 am, EDT, Hurricane Matthew was just east of Cape Canaveral, FL, with maximum sustained winds near 120 m.p.h., making Matthew a category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The storm is moving north-northwest, and is expected to turn northeast and track along or near the Southeastern Coast over the weekend, producing heavy rain and strong winds 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. Generally dry, warmer weather is expected across the remainder of the nation, as this morning’s lingering showers in the central U.S. will dissipate. However, locally heavy rain and mountain snow are likely in the Northwest, while monsoon showers resume in the Four Corners Region, USDA states.