Weather report: Cool air spreads across the Plains

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In the West, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork from California to the southern Rockies. Meanwhile, cooler air is overspreading the Northwestern winter wheat belt in the wake of highly beneficial showers.

On the Plains, isolated showers are providing much-needed moisture across northern areas, although most of the rain has already bypassed the hard red winter wheat belt. Cooler air is overspreading the nation’s midsection, although late-season warmth lingers across much of Texas.

In the Corn Belt, scattered showers are occurring in conjunction with a developing storm system crossing the upper Midwest. The showers are slowing a previously rapid fieldwork pace, but the rain is helping to replenish depleted soil moisture reserves. On October 14, topsoil moisture was rated more than three-quarters very short to short in South Dakota (96%), Nebraska (95%), Minnesota (86%), Iowa (79%), and Wisconsin (79%).

In the South, dry weather prevails, despite widespread cloudiness in the southern Atlantic and eastern Gulf Coast States. Fieldwork includes winter wheat planting and cotton, peanut, and soybean harvesting.

Outlook: During the next few days, a slow-moving storm system will cross the Midwestern and Great Lakes States. Storm-total rainfall of 1 to 2 inches can be expected from the Mississippi Valley into the Northeast. Meanwhile, little or no late-week precipitation will fall from California to the central and southern Plains. During the weekend, the Midwestern storm will finally lift into eastern Canada, while storminess will increase in the Northwest. By early next week, markedly cooler air will arrive in the Pacific Coast States and northern portions of the Rockies and High Plains. Wet weather will accompany the cooler conditions along the Pacific Coast as far south as central California. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 22-26 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in northern California and the Northwest. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across roughly the southern half of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-thannormal weather across the nation’s northern tier.

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