Across the Corn Belt, cool but mostly dry weather prevails. Tuesday morning’s minimum temperatures dipped as low as 25° in the far upper Midwest, where a few snow showers are occurring. On April 11, Missouri led the Midwest with 8% of its intended corn acreage planted, followed by Illinois at 5%.
On the Plains, light snow showers in parts of Montana and North Dakota are providing negligible relief from extremely dry conditions. North Dakota led the Plains on April 11 with topsoil moisture rated 83% very short to short. Very dry conditions also exist across much of Texas (topsoil moisture is rated 77% very short to short), although a few showers are occurring early Tuesday in the northeastern part of the state. Among major winter wheat production states on April 11, Texas led the country with 36% of its crop rated in very poor to poor condition.
In the South, showers and a few thunderstorms are mainly spreading across areas from the Mississippi Delta westward. Meanwhile in the Southeast, generally warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development. Fruit producers in South Carolina report 45% of the peach crop rated in very poor to poor condition, following the freezes of April 2-3.
In the West, mostly dry, occasionally breezy weather accompanies lingering cool conditions. Northwestern producers continue to monitor potential impacts of recent freezes on blooming fruit crops. Meanwhile, Washington led the nation (among major production states) on April 11 with one-half of its spring wheat and 39% of its barley planted.
Cool conditions will persist for the next several days across much of the central and eastern U.S. Freezes should occur each night this week across the northern Plains, with temperatures possibly falling below 20° in some locations into the weekend. Multiple freezes will also affect the central High Plains, while weekend frost and scattered freezes may reach as far south as Texas’ northern panhandle. Scattered frost will also affect parts of the Midwest. Meanwhile, temperatures in the Far West will rebound to above-normal levels. During the next 5 days, significant precipitation will be largely suppressed to the south, with totals greater than an inch mostly limited to an area stretching from the central Rockies to the central Gulf Coast. Late-season snowfall will blanket the central Rockies, while locally severe thunderstorms may accompany heavy showers across the South. Elsewhere, lingering showers across the North will shift eastward before ending, while mostly dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days in southern Florida, the Far West, and much of the Midwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures throughout the central and eastern U.S., except in Maine and southern Florida. However, warmer-than-normal weather will cover the West. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation in most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across Florida’s peninsula, as well as the southern Rockies and adjacent High Plains