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US Drought Update: Mixed Weather Patterns and Agricultural Impacts

In the week ending November 21, the US experienced predominantly dry weather, with notable exception being the arrival of a storm system across central and eastern states. This system brought much-needed rain to several drought-affected areas, particularly in the South.

In the Northeast, dry conditions led to an expansion of drought areas, although the region's drought footprint remained small due to previous wet conditions. Meanwhile, the Southeast experienced contrasting conditions with torrential rain in Florida but worsening dryness in the north.

The South saw precipitation both early and late in the period, aiding in drought improvement in Texas and parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. The Midwest received limited relief from late precipitation, and the High Plains observed few changes despite some rain. The West experienced light to moderate precipitation, leading to some improvements in the Northwest but slight deterioration in the southern Rockies.

Looking ahead, a low-pressure system in the Midwest is expected to weaken, with a cold front clearing the Atlantic Seaboard. The forecast for the rest of November includes mild, dry weather for most of the US, with seasonal temperatures and minimal precipitation expected.

There is lots of time for things to change between now and spring planting. However, for now, it appears drought in a key US growing region will remain a potential watch factor in the outlook for 2024 crops.

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