Across the Corn Belt, chilly conditions linger east of the Mississippi River, where Friday morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from 20 to 30°. In contrast, warm, breezy conditions are developing across the western Corn Belt. Later Friday, high temperatures in the middle Missouri Valley will range from 70 to 80°.
On the Plains, warm, breezy conditions are promoting spring fieldwork and winter wheat development. However, the warmth and wind, combined with low humidity levels and abundant cured grasses, are leading to an elevated threat of wildfires. In addition, significant soil moisture shortages exist across the northern Plains and parts of Texas.
In the South, freezes occurred Friday morning as far south as central Georgia and northern sections of Alabama and Mississippi, threatening some blooming fruits, nursery stock, and emerging summer crops. Hard freezes (temperatures of 28° or below) were observed in parts of the interior Southeast, including eastern sections of Kentucky and Tennessee. Crossville, Tennessee, noted a daily-record low temperature of 24° Friday morning. Dry weather throughout the region favors fieldwork, except in areas still recovering from lowland flooding.
In the West, warm, dry weather continues. Except in the central Rockies, snowpack deficiencies are widespread across the southern two-thirds of the western U.S., extending as far north as southern sections of Idaho and Oregon. In those areas with meager mountain snowpack, particularly from California to the southern Rockies, poor spring runoff could lead to inadequate reservoir recharge and potential water-supply shortages.
Across the country, little precipitation will occur during the next several days, although record-setting warmth in the nation’s mid-section will contrast with lingering cool conditions in the East and a slow transition to cooler weather in the West. Heat will persist into early next week, however, in the Desert Southwest, where some low-elevation sites may experience temperatures of 100° or greater. On the Plains, weekend temperatures could approach 90° as far north as South Dakota. Early next week, a storm system will cross the northern Pacific Coast, delivering cooler weather and widespread showers in the Northwest. By Tuesday, drought-easing showers may develop across portions of the northern Plains.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10- day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions along and near the Pacific Coast. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across portions of the northern Plains and from the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys into the middle Atlantic States.