Warmer; rains to return to parts of the Heartland

Warmer; rains to return to parts of the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, cool conditions linger. In addition, a few rain showers are occurring early Tuesday in Iowa and environs. However, dry weather in much of the Midwest favors a limited return to fieldwork. Still, only 30% of the intended U.S. corn acreage was planted by May 12. Other recent years during which less than one-third of the corn had been planted by May 12 were 1993 (27%), 2013 (28%), and 1995 (31%).

On the Plains, mostly dry weather accompanies a warming trend. The warmth favors winter wheat development, as well as summer crop planting, emergence, and establishment. However, pockets of excessive wetness persist on the central and southern Plains. In Oklahoma, topsoil moisture was rated 42% surplus on May 12.

In the South, showers are limited to Deep South Texas. Cool but favorably dry weather covers the remainder of the region. Excessive moisture remains a problem in some areas, particularly in the Delta States. On May 12, topsoil moisture was at least one-half surplus in Arkansas (68%), Louisiana (62%), and Mississippi (54%).

In the West, a storm system approaching the coast is producing rain showers in the Pacific Northwest. Cooler air is overspreading the Pacific Coast States, but warm, dry weather farther inland favors crop growth.

For the remainder of Tuesday, rain and snow showers will affect parts of the Northeast. Meanwhile, the first in a series of winter-like storms will arrive along the Pacific Coast. The second storm will move inland on May 15- 16, delivering valley rain and high-elevation snow as far south as central California. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 2 to 4 inches in northern California and 1 to 2 inches in many parts of the Northwest. Late in the week and during the weekend, a significant rainfall event will unfold across much of the Plains and upper Midwest, with widespread 1- to 2-inch totals expected. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail through the weekend in the Southeast, except across southern Florida. Warmer air will gradually overspread the eastern U.S., while sharply colder weather will accompany and trail the Western storminess.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures along and west of a line from New Mexico to Minnesota, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail along and east of a line from Texas to Michigan. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather across most of the country will contrast with below-normal precipitation in the southern Atlantic States and southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains.

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