Across the Corn Belt, a band of showers and thunderstorms stretches southwestward from Lake Superior. Rain is benefiting emerged summer crops across the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, very warm, dry weather favors soybean planting across the southern and eastern Corn Belt. However, short-term dryness across the lower Midwest is depleting topsoil moisture and increasing stress on pastures, winter wheat, and summer crops.
On the Plains, beneficial showers dot the northern half of the region, where very cool weather prevails. Unfavorably dry weather persists, however, from Kansas southward into Texas, reducing soil moisture and increasing stress on pastures, immature winter grains, and rain-fed summer crops. Thursday’s high temperatures will approach or reach 100° in parts of western Texas.
In the South, warm, mostly dry weather prevails. A few showers linger, however, across southern Florida and the southern Mid-Atlantic States. Drought remains a serious concern across the lower Southeast and has become an emerging agricultural issue in the northern Mississippi Delta.
In the West, A Freeze Warning was in effect Friday morning for parts of northern Nevada. Cool weather covers the entire region, slowing crop growth. Isolated showers are confined to the Northwest.
A series of storms will maintain cool unsettled conditions across the nation’s northern tier. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from the northern Plains into the Northeast. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail across the southern half of the U.S. through Memorial Day, except for lingering showers in the southern Atlantic States.
An early-season heat wave will affect much of the South, East, and lower Midwest, with many locations expecting multiple days of 90-degree heat. Weekend temperatures will peak near 100° from the Mid-South into the eastern Corn Belt.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions from the northern Plains into the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal rainfall across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast States.