Across the Corn Belt, showers stretch from southern Michigan to Missouri. U.S. corn planting, 23% complete by May 5, is proceeding at the slowest pace since 2013, when 12% of the crop had been sown on that date. Other recent years with a slower early-season corn planting pace were 1993 (13% planted by May 5) and 1995 (17%)
On the Plains, chilly conditions are limiting crop emergence and growth from Kansas northward. A widespread freeze occurred early Tuesday in North Dakota. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms across the central and southern Plains are slowing or halting fieldwork but maintaining generally favorable moisture reserves.
In the South, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and rapid crop growth. Pockets of excessive wetness persist in the lower Mississippi Valley, where topsoil moisture in Arkansas was rated 59% surplus on May 5.
In the West, cool weather accompanies widely scattered showers. One exception is the Pacific Northwest, where warm, dry weather favors an acceleration of planting operations and other spring fieldwork.
A powerful, slow-moving storm system will cross the central and southern Plains at mid-week and reach the Great Lakes region on Friday. The storm’s trailing cold front will stall across the South by week’s end. Meanwhile, a disturbance traversing the western U.S. will produce some out-of-season showers in California and the Southwest. During the next 5 days, significant precipitation should occur from the Rockies to the Appalachians, except from Montana to northern Minnesota. Totals should reach 1 to 3 inches from the central and southern Plains into the Midwest and Northeast, while rainfall could total 2 to 8 inches from eastern Texas to the Mississippi Delta. Locally severe thunderstorms will accompany the heavy rain, starting Tuesday on the southern Plains and reaching the lower Mississippi Valley by Thursday. Elsewhere, significant mid-week snow will fall in the central Rockies, while warm, dry weather will prevail in the Pacific Northwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of warmer-than-normal weather in the southern Atlantic region and from the Pacific Coast to the northern High Plains, while below-normal temperatures will cover a large area stretching from the southern Plains and the Southwest to the Great Lakes and Northeastern States. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions across much of the southern half of the U.S. will contrast with below-normal rainfall in many Northern locations, including the Midwest.