Pleasant, late-summer weather for the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, mostly sunny, dry weather favors summer crop maturation and early-season harvest efforts. On September 13, the U.S. corn crop was 41% mature, while 37% of the soybeans were dropping leaves. On the same date, Missouri led the Midwest with 6% of its corn acreage harvested, followed by Nebraska with 4%.

On the Plains, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and summer crop maturation. Very warm weather has returned across the northern Plains, where small grain harvesting is nearly complete and winter wheat planting is underway. Elsewhere, last week’s rainfall has resulted in significant improvement in topsoil moisture rated very short to short in Nebraska (from 73 to 45%), Texas (from 64 to 44%), Kansas (from 56 to 37%), and Oklahoma (from 49 to 29%).

In the South, Hurricane Sally is slowing approaching the U.S. Gulf Coast. Early Tuesday morning, Sally was centered 65 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River, drifting northwestward at 2 mph. Sustained winds are near 85 mph. Heavy rain and gusty winds have already begun to affect southeastern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and western Florida. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather prevails, except for scattered showers in southern Texas and along the southern Atlantic Coast.

In the West, dry weather accompanies above-normal temperatures, but winds are generally light. Still, wildfire containment efforts remain difficult due to ongoing drought and the sheer number of active blazes. Currently, there are more than four dozen active wildfires in the Pacific Coast States, of which 15 have charred more than 100,000 acres.

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