An extended period of dry weather caused drought expansion to cover more than 47% of the continental United States by Nov. 17 -- a seven-year high, according to the latest Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The expansion had an adverse effect on some winter wheat across the central and southern Plains, but late-week rains were beneficial to the Kansas area.
At the same time, dry conditions favored late-autumn fieldwork across much of the United States.
Temperatures were near- or above-normal throughout most of the country, with the coolest weather occurring in the eastern United States and across the nation's northern tier.
For the complete USDA report, click here.