Weather

Mild, unseasonably warm weather covers the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, nearly all the nation’s corn and soybeans are mature, well in advance of any widespread Midwestern freezes. On October 3, eighty-eight percent of the U.S. corn was fully mature, while 86% of the soybeans were dropping leaves. The U.S. corn harvest, 29% complete by October 3, was proceeding at the third-fastest pace in the last decade, behind only 2012 and virtually tied with 2018.

On the Plains, dry weather accompanies above-normal to record-setting temperatures, following last week’s beneficial showers. Tuesday’s high temperatures will reach or exceed 90°F in parts of eastern Montana and the Dakotas, a nearly unprecedented level of heat for this time of year. Despite recent rainfall, topsoil moisture rated very short to short on October 3 ranged from 43% in Nebraska to 96% in Montana, according to USDA/NASS.

In the South, a heavy-rain event is underway from western Florida into the southern Appalachians, leading to a threat of flash flooding. The rain is also curtailing Southeastern harvest activities in an area that is already experiencing delayed crop maturation. In contrast, warm, dry weather prevails from the western Gulf Coast region to the Mississippi Delta.

In the West, a disturbance approaching the Pacific Coast is sparking some rare, early-autumn showers and thunderstorms across southern California and the Southwest. Farther north, showers are confined to western Washington, despite an increase in Northwestern cloudiness. Elsewhere, cooler air is overspreading the Southwest and areas along the Pacific Coast, while summer-like warmth lingers across the northern and central Rockies.

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