Late-season heat on the southern Plains; still unsettled parts of the eastern, southern Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, showers and a few thunderstorms are occurring early Thursday in the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region.  In contrast, warm, dry weather covers much of the western Corn Belt, favoring a rapid pace of summer crop maturation and early-season corn and soybean harvesting.  Thursday’s temperatures will approach 90°F in parts of Missouri. 

On the Plains, unusually hot weather prevails across the southern two-thirds of the region.  Later Thursday, high temperatures will top 90°F as far north as southern Nebraska.  In areas where soil moisture is adequate, the hot weather is promoting the emergence and establishment of recently planted winter wheat.  However, topsoil moisture was rated one-half to two-thirds very short to short on September 24 in Kansas (67%), Texas (66%), Oklahoma (63%), and Nebraska (50%).

In the South, summer-like heat persists from the western Gulf Coast region to the Mississippi Delta, favoring fieldwork but further stressing pastures and immature crops.  On September 24, more than two-thirds of the rangeland and pastures in Texas (69%) and Louisiana (68%) were rated in very poor to poor condition.  Meanwhile, unsettled, showery weather lingers across the lower Southeast.  Early Thursday, some of the heaviest rain is falling in southern Florida. 

In the West, cool weather stretches from the northern Pacific Coast to the northern Rockies.  However, precipitation is largely confined to the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades.  Across the remainder of the region, dry weather favors early-autumn fieldwork, while significantly warmer-than-normal conditions cover the Four Corners States.   

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