A range of seasons across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, frost and freeze advisories were in effect Friday morning across portions of the Great Lakes region, where producers continue to monitor early-blooming fruit crops for signs of injury in the wake of the March 26-27 and current cool snaps. Elsewhere in the Midwest, rain showers accompany mild weather.

On the Plains, very warm weather favors a rapid pace of winter wheat development. However, portions of the High Plains’ winter wheat belt will soon need additional moisture to prevent drought stress.

In the South, scattered showers and thunderstorms are spreading eastward across the central Gulf Coast States. Meanwhile, warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development in the lower Southeast, although rain is needed for pastures, winter grains, and emerging summer crops.

In the West, stormy weather prevails across northern California and the Pacific Northwest, where chilly weather persists. California’s spring and summer runoff prospects have improved slightly during March, but high-elevation Sierra Nevada snow packs are still only about half of normal for this time of year.

A disturbance crossing the eastern half of the U.S. will produce scattered showers and thunderstorms into the weekend. Additional rainfall may reach an inch in parts of the Great Lakes region and the Southeast. Meanwhile, stormy weather will continue across the Pacific Northwest, where 5-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 5 inches.

Elsewhere, cool conditions will gradually expand across the West, but unusually warm weather will continue from the nation’s mid-section into the Midwest and Southeast.

By early next week, a new storm system will emerge from the West, resulting in cooler weather across the south-central U.S. and widespread precipitation in the central and eastern U.S.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be limited to the Pacific Coast States, while wetter-than-normal weather will be confined to northern California and across the nation’s northern tier from the Pacific Northwest to Lake Superior.

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