Winter-like cold covers much the Heartland; moderation underway on parts of the Plains

Across the Corn Belt, cold, dry weather prevails, except for lingering snow squalls downwind of the Great Lakes.  Upper Midwestern temperatures locally dipped below 0°F early Tuesday, extending as far south as northern Iowa.  Meanwhile, a patchy Midwestern snow cover is disrupting fieldwork, including final corn harvest efforts.  By November 26, more than 10% of the corn acreage remained standing in Michigan (79% harvested), Wisconsin (85%), and Ohio (86%).   

On the Plains, dry weather is promoting late-autumn fieldwork, except in areas—mainly on the central Plains—where snow remains on the ground.  Cool weather persists in many areas, but near- or above-normal temperatures have returned across portions of the northern Plains.  On November 26, the U.S. sunflower harvest was 86% complete, with statewide progress ranging from 82% in North Dakota to 98% in Colorado. 

In the South, dry weather favors a return to late-season fieldwork, despite lingering cloudiness in the eastern Gulf Coast region and along the southern Atlantic Coast.  Recent rainfall provided slight improvements in topsoil moisture, although November 26 statewide values were still greater than one-half very short to short in Alabama (74%), Louisiana (72%), Mississippi (66%), South Carolina (55%), and Tennessee (54%). 

In the West, dry weather accompanies a slow warming trend.  Still, Freeze Warnings were in effect again early Tuesday in much of California’s Central Valley.  Despite the cool conditions, California’s cotton harvest advanced to 80% complete by November 26.  Meanwhile, air stagnation is leading to fog formation is some Northwestern communities.

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