Very limited fieldwork across the Corn Belt...

Very limited fieldwork across the Corn Belt...

Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails. A limited amount of fieldwork is underway; for example, 6% of Iowa’s oat crop was planted by April 3, compared to 25% at the same time last year.

On the Plains, cold weather lingers across northern areas. However, warmth is returning to the drought-stricken central and southern High Plains. On April 3, the portion of the winter wheat crop rated in good to excellent condition ranged from 12% in Texas to 70% in Montana. At least one-third of the wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition in Kansas (34%), Colorado (43%), Oklahoma (53%), and Texas (61%).

In the South, showers and locally severe thunderstorms linger in the southern Atlantic States. Cool, dry, breezy weather prevails farther west. Planting activities are quickly advancing in the drought-affected western Gulf Coast region, but more rain is needed for pastures and emerging summer crops.

In the West, warm, dry weather in California and the Southwest contrasts with cool, showery conditions farther north. California's planting season started slowly due to wet weather, but cotton planting was 10% complete—equal to the 5-year average—by April 3.

A cold front approaching the East Coast will move offshore later Tuesday. Meanwhile, cool, showery weather will overspread the remainder of the West by mid-week. Precipitation (rain and snow) will also overspread the north-central U.S.

Mid- to late-week temperatures will quickly rebound to above-normal levels along and east of a line from the southern Plains into the Great Lakes region.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures in the Southeast, while cooler-than-normal weather will be confined to Maine, northern California, and the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in Florida and from Arizona into the south-central U.S. 

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