Showery; near-seasonal temperatures for the Midwest

Showery; near-seasonal temperatures for the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, a Frost Advisory was in effect early Wednesday in portions of southern Michigan and northern Indiana. Elsewhere, a few rain showers are overspreading the southern Corn Belt, while warmth in the upper Midwest is allowing some opportunities for early-season planting. On April 21, topsoil moisture was less than one-quarter surplus in Nebraska (19%), Missouri (20%), North Dakota (21%), and Iowa (24%), but more than one-half surplus in Indiana (59%), Michigan (57%), Minnesota (57%), Ohio (57%), and Illinois (54%).

On the Plains, warm, mostly dry weather from Nebraska northward favors an acceleration of fieldwork, including spring wheat planting. However, lowland flooding remains a problem in portions of the eastern Dakotas. Meanwhile, cloudiness lingers across the southern Plains, although rain is gradually ending.

In the South, locally heavy showers stretch from Arkansas to central Texas. Dry weather prevails from the Mississippi Delta into the Southeast, although wet soils continue to limit fieldwork in some areas. On April 21, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half surplus in Arkansas (64% surplus), North Carolina (55%), Louisiana (53%), and Mississippi (53%).

In the West, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork, especially in California and the Desert Southwest. Above normal temperatures in the Great Basin and Intermountain West are inducing river rises due to melting snow.

A low-pressure system over the south-central U.S. will drift northeastward, reaching the Mid-Atlantic States on Friday and northern New England by late Saturday. Meanwhile, a storm system traversing the northern U.S. will cross the northern Plains, Midwest, and Northeast during the weekend and early next week. Cool air will trail the latter system, resulting in the return of below-normal temperatures across the northern half of the country. Early-season heat will prevail, however, in the Southwest. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 2 inches or more in the upper Midwest and in many areas along and east of a line from central Texas to New York.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of cooler-than-normal conditions across the North, while above-normal temperatures will prevail along and south of a line from central California to southern New England. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal weather in the Southeast should contrast with near- or above-normal precipitation across the remainder of the country.

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