Warm; rain chances on the rise across the Corn Belt

Warm; rain chances on the rise across the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, scattered showers are affecting the Great Lakes region. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors an increase in corn and soybean planting, especially in drier areas of the western Corn Belt. By May 12, Missouri led the Midwest in corn planting (52% complete), followed by Iowa (48%) and Nebraska (46%).

On the Plains, warm, dry weather from Nebraska southward continues to promote fieldwork, winter wheat development, and summer crop emergence and establishment. However, markedly cooler air is overspreading the northern Plains, accompanied by scattered rain showers.

In the South, warm, mostly dry weather is promoting late-spring planting operations, as well as winter wheat maturation and summer crop development. However, lingering wetness continues to impede fieldwork, especially in low-lying areas, from eastern Texas to the Mississippi Delta.

In the West, unusually heavy precipitation is spreading inland across California, the western Great Basin, and the Northwest. Late-season snow is falling in the Sierra Nevada. Although the cool, wet weather is slowing or halting fieldwork, many Western crops are benefiting from the boost in topsoil moisture.

A procession of Pacific storms will maintain showery, unsettled weather during the next several days across the western and central U.S. As a result, a brief window of opportunity for planting will soon close across the Plains and parts of the Corn Belt. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 4 inches or more in a vast area from the southern Plains into the upper Midwest. Significant precipitation, including high-elevation snow, will also fall from northern and central California and the Pacific Northwest to northern and central sections of the Rockies and Plains. Starting on Friday, a multi-day severe weather outbreak will affect areas from the Plains into the Mississippi Valley. Warmth in advance of the stormy weather will spread into the southern and eastern U.S., while much of the remainder of the country will experience cooler-than-normal weather.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures across much of the eastern half of the U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail along and west of a line from New Mexico to Minnesota. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in the Southeast will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across the remainder of the country, including the Plains, West, and much of the Midwest.

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