Warmer days ahead; pattern, though, to remain wet

Warmer days ahead; pattern, though, to remain wet

Across the Corn Belt, rain is shifting east as a slow-moving cold front clears the region, though cool, showery weather lingers over the Ohio Valley. Drier weather behind the front will allow fields to dry and producers to resume corn and soybean planting; however, soils likely remain waterlogged in western portions of the region.

On the Plains, warmer air is rapidly returning to the region. Friday’s temperatures will average 4 to 12° above normal over the northern half of the region, while cool conditions (up to 4° below normal) linger in the south. Soil moisture remains adequate to abundant over most of the Plains, though short-term dryness (30-day rainfall less than 25 percent of normal) has developed from central Kansas into northern Oklahoma.

In the South, a slow-moving cold front is providing much-needed rain to the lower Southeast, although some of the thunderstorms accompanying the front are severe. Much cooler weather is settling into the region behind the front, with Friday’s temperatures averaging more than 10° below normal in the Delta and environs.

In the West, sunny weather favors fieldwork and Northwestern winter wheat development. Western snow packs are in excellent shape, save for northern portions of the Cascades and Rockies where the current snowpack water equivalent and subsequent spring runoff potential remain below average.

A storm over the Tennessee Valley will drift northeastward and stall, while an accompanying cold front taps into tropical moisture as it sweeps across the East Coast States. The net result will be a wide swath of 1 to 2 inches of rain (locally more) across the eastern third of the nation over the next three days, with the primary low taking the better part of the upcoming weekend to exit the Atlantic Coast. Meanwhile, dry, increasingly warm weather will prevail from the Midwest to the southern Plains. Conversely, a frontal system will move slowly south across the nation’s northwestern quadrant, producing rain and mountain snow from the Northwest into northern and central portions of the Rockies and High Plains. For the remainder of the western U.S., a cool start to the weekend will be followed by building heat early next week.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for warmer- and wetter-than-normal weather across most of the country. Drier-than-normal conditions will be confined to the Pacific Coast States and from the Great Basin to the central Plains.

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