A much warmer, drier period ahead...
Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails in most areas, although planting delays persist due to soggy field conditions. Showers associated with a departing storm are ending in Ohio, while rain in conjunction with an approaching storm is spreading across eastern portions of Nebraska and the Dakotas. Between storms, scattered frost was noted Friday morning in the northern Corn Belt, mainly in Wisconsin.
On the Plains, cool, wet weather in the Dakotas and Nebraska is dealing another setback to producers attempting to plant. In North Dakota, only about one-third (34%) of the acreage intended for spring wheat had been sown by May 22, compared to the 5-year average of 85%.
In the South, warm weather favors crop development, except in areas where drought is adversely affecting pastures and rain-fed summer crops. Isolated showers dot the southern Atlantic States.
In the West, cool, showery weather across northern areas remains an impediment to fieldwork and crop development. Unusually cool conditions also persist in California.
During the next few days, isolated showers and thunderstorms will linger in the Atlantic Coast States. However, the focus for heavy rain will return to the northern Plains and the upper Midwest, where widespread, 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals can be expected during the next 5 days. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail across the southern one-third of the U.S.
Meanwhile, warmth in the South, East, and lower Midwest will contrast with persistently chilly conditions across the northern Plains and much of the West.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in southern Florida and the Far West. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the South and East, excluding the immediate Gulf Coast region.