During the second half of the week of Nov. 20-26, wet weather across the South replaced previously tranquil conditions, although some heavy rain had fallen earlier in the western Gulf Coast region and across southern Florida, according to the Nov. 29 USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.
At week’s end, rain continued to expand northeastward, reaching into the middle Mississippi Valley. Storminess was especially beneficial for drought-stressed winter grains on the southern Plains, although a sharp northwestern precipitation cutoff left some of the driest areas, including southwestern Kansas, with minimal moisture.
Some wet snow was observed in western Texas and neighboring areas. However, little, if any, precipitation fell during the week across large sections of the country. Elsewhere, precipitation briefly fell in parts of the East — mainly on Nov. 25 — and from the Pacific Northwest to the northern and central Rockies, while dry weather and the gradual return of near- or above-normal temperatures favored late-season harvest efforts across the northern Plains and much of the Midwest.
Early in the week, frigid weather lingered nearly nationwide. Cape Girardeau collected consecutive daily-record lows (13 and 15°F, respectively) on Nov. 19, but near-normal temperatures prevailed in much of the Midwest. In contrast, readings averaged as least 5 to 10°F below normal across interior sections of the West and more than 5°F below normal in northern New England and parts of the south-central U.S.
Early-week showers provided additional moisture for immature winter grains in some western farming areas of Argentina, but pockets of dryness persisted in traditionally higher-yielding production areas farther east. Weekly temperatures averaged 1 to 2°C above normal in central Argentina due to the dryness, and by week’s end, daytime highs reached 40°C as far south as northern delegations in La Pampa and Buenos Aires.
According to the government, corn was 82% planted as of Nov. 24, more than 10 points behind last year’s pace. Soybean planting was at 33% versus 41% last year.
Scattered showers maintained overall favorable prospects for soybeans and other summer row crops in Brazil, although some locations continued to receive below-normal rainfall. The heaviest fell in northern productions areas reaching as far south as Minas Gerais and eastern São Paulo. While providing timely moisture for crops, the showers helped to lower temperatures to more seasonable levels, with highest daytime temperatures mostly ranging in the upper 20s and lower 30s (degrees C) in the areas getting rain. Somewhat drier conditions prevailed farther south and temperatures remained seasonable. According to the government of Paraná, first-crop corn and soybeans were 98 and 92% planted, respectively, as of Nov. 21.