Very windy, warm weather across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather is promoting final corn and soybean harvest efforts, despite an increase in high cloudiness. In addition, warm, breezy weather has returned across much of the Midwest, with Thursday’s high temperatures expected to range from 70 to 75° in the middle Mississippi and lower Missouri Valleys.

On the Plains, record-setting warmth prevails across the southern half of the region, where Thursday’s high temperatures should generally range from 75 to 85°. Furthermore, significant, short-term dryness is affecting several areas, including the central High Plains and much of Texas, leading to renewed stress on winter wheat.

In the South, freezes occurred Thursday morning in the Atlantic Coast States as far south as the Carolinas and northern and central Georgia. Cool, dry weather throughout the region favors fieldwork, including winter wheat planting and cotton, peanuts, and soybean harvesting. However, pockets of lowland flooding linger in the eastern Carolinas.

In the West, widely scattered rain and snow showers stretch from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Northwestern winter wheat is benefiting from the recent and ongoing boost in topsoil moisture. In contrast, drought— aggravated by consistent warmth—continues to expand and intensify across the Southwest. According to the November 17 U.S. Drought Monitor, drought covers 76% of the 11-state Western region—and 100% of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

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