Scattered rains across parts of Heartland; mild to warm weather prevails

Across the Corn Belt, scattered showers across the western half of the region are slowing fieldwork.  In Midwestern States where the corn harvest had begun by September 17, progress ranged from 1% complete in Michigan and Wisconsin to 19% in Missouri.  Meanwhile, warm, dry weather in the eastern Corn Belt favors corn and soybean maturation. 

On the Plains, cooler air is overspreading Montana, where a chilly rain is falling.  Mild, showery weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section.  In drier areas of the Plains, any rain is helpful for newly planted winter wheat.  Lingering summer-like heat is confined to the southern half of the region, where Friday’s high temperatures will reach 90°F or higher as far north as southern Kansas. 

In the South, early Friday morning, Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen was centered about 245 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, moving toward the north at 14 mph.  With sustained winds near 50 mph, the cyclone is strong enough to become a named storm when it acquires sufficient tropical characteristics.  Rain is already falling in coastal North Carolina, where winds are increasing.  Cotton is one of the most vulnerable crops in the storm’s path; nearly a week ago, on September 17, bolls were 64% open in Virginia and 45% open in North Carolina. 

In the West, cool air continues to spread eastward, with lingering warmth limited to the central and southern Rockies.  Snow is falling early Friday at higher elevations of the northern Rockies, while a Freeze Warning is in effect in the Klamath Basin (of southern Oregon and northern California) and neighboring areas.  Elsewhere, dry weather from California to the Southwest favors early-autumn fieldwork.   

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