The Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) 30- and 90-day forecasts are not encouraging for drought relief on the Plains. Both of the longer-term forecasts give above-normal odds for warm temperatures and dry conditions across the Central and Southern Plains, where dry soils are already a concern. Warm temperatures could diminish the hardiness of the region’s winter wheat crop.
The forecast for December favors warm temperatures across all but the northwest third of the country, with dry conditions likely across the southern third of the country up through Nebraska. There are elevated chances for above-normal precip in the far eastern Corn Belt and the Northwest, with equal chances for normal, below-normal and above-normal precip for other areas of the Midwest and the Northern Plains.
The December through February timeframe favors warm weather for the southern half of the U.S., cool temperatures from the Dakotas westward and the CPC gave basically no temperature outlook for the Corn Belt. The 90-day precip gives elevated odds for wet weather from the Pacific Northwest through New England. Dry weather is expected across the southern areas of the U.S. and into southern Nebraska, with equal chances of normal, above-normal and below-normal precip for areas in between.