USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, temperatures have slightly fallen but remain above normal. "Declining topsoil moisture remains a concern with respect to winter wheat establishment," USDA explains. "On Nov. 26, at least one-tenth of the wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition in all of the Plains states except Colorado. Oklahoma leads the region with topsoil moisture rated 75% very short to short, followed by Texas (67%)," the department details.
In the West, USDA reports mild, dry weather prevails, except for a return to showery weather in the Pacific Northwest. "Nearly all (88%) of Washington's winter wheat was rated in good to excellent condition on Nov. 26. On the same date, the cotton harvest was 80% complete in California and 68% complete in Arizona," USDA details.
On the Corn Belt, a dry cold front is crossing the upper Midwest, bringing a wind shift and a slight temperature decline. Nevertheless, above-normal temperatures continue to promote final summer crop harvest efforts. "On Nov. 26, more than one-tenth of the corn remained in the field in Wisconsin (81% harvested), Michigan (84%), and Ohio (87%)," USDA reports.
In the South, USDA reports warm, dry weather favors late-season fieldwork. "On Nov. 26, the Delta cotton harvest ranged from 91% complete in Tennessee to 100% in Arkansas and Louisiana. In the Southeast, the cotton harvest ranged from 79% complete in Alabama to 93% complete in Virginia," according to USDA.
In its outlook, USDA says unusually mild weather will cover much of the country into the weekend, when cooler air will arrive in both the East and Far West. Significant precipitation will be confined to the Pacific Northwest, where five-day totals could reach 2 to 4 inches or more. Elsewhere, showers in the vicinity of a cold front will gradually increase in coverage, although most of the eastern half of the U.S. will receive precipitation totaling one-half inch or less. "A few heavier showers may affect southeastern Florida and northern New England," USDA adds. Outside of the Northwest, frozen precipitation should be limited to late-week snow showers from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast, it continues.