Drought-easing precipitation arrived in the Dakotas, southern and eastern Montana, and the Intermountain region with a winter-like storm system during the week ending Oct. 16.
According to today's Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, early-season snow (locally 1 to 2 feet or more) blanketed portions of the Intermountain West, extending as far east as the Black Hills.
Then storm’s trailing cold front — interacting with remnant tropical moisture associated with former eastern Pacific Hurricane Pamela — contributed to heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms that extended northward from the western Gulf Coast region across the east-central Plains and southern Corn Belt.
By contrast, little or no precipitation fell in the Southeast and much of the Far West.
Southeastern dryness was particularly beneficial for summer crop maturation and harvesting, following a protracted period of wetness ending in early October.
In California, however, dry, windy weather fanned a few new wildfires, including the 17,000-acre Alisal Fire, ignited on Oct. 11 between Lompoc and Santa Barbara.
For the full USDA report for Oct. 19, click here.