Very wet soils cover the central, southern Corn Belt

Very wet soils cover the central, southern Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, snow is blanketing the upper Midwest, while rain is maintaining soggy conditions and sparking local flooding in the Ohio Valley. On April 1, prior to Tuesday’s heavy rain, topsoil moisture was rated 61% surplus in Ohio, along with 52% in Indiana and 37% in Illinois.

On the Plains, unusually cold weather for this time of year prevails across the northern half of the region, accompanied by patchy snow showers. Across the central Plains, extremely windy weather is occurring near the leading edge of the surge of cold air. On April 1, less than one-fifth of the winter wheat was rated in good to excellent condition in Oklahoma (9%), Kansas (10%), Texas (15%), and South Dakota (17%).

In the South, warm weather in advance of an approaching storm system favors crop emergence and growth. A few showers are affecting the interior Southeast, while windy weather is developing from the Delta westward.

In the West, dry weather prevails, although cold weather across much of the region contrasts with lingering warmth in California and the Desert Southwest. On April 1, at least three-quarters of the winter wheat was rated in good to excellent condition in each of the Pacific Coast States, led by Oregon (82%).

For the remainder of Tuesday and Wednesday, cold air will continue to surge southward and eastward in conjunction with a storm system tracking from the central Plains into the Northeast. Freeze Warnings have already been issued for Wednesday morning for parts of the southeastern Plains and the mid-South. By Thursday morning, freezes can be expected across portions of the interior Southeast. During the weekend, another blast of unusually cold air will reach the same regions. Meanwhile, a series of fast-moving storms will result in additional snow across the North, as well as 5-day precipitation totals that could reach 1 to 3 inches in the Southeast and 1 to 2 inches from the eastern Corn Belt into the Northeast. Toward week’s end, heavy precipitation will return to the West, spreading as far south as central California.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures from the northern Plains into the northern and middle Atlantic States, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail from southern California to the southern High Plains, as well as areas along and near the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in the south-central U.S. should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in most other areas, including the Northwest, the northern Plains, and the eastern one-third of the country.

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