Across the Corn Belt, lingering cool conditions across the upper Midwest continue to limit planting progress, as well as the emergence of recently sown summer crops. Meanwhile, spotty showers generally stretch from Michigan to Missouri, slowing a previously vigorous planting pace for crops such as corn and soybeans across much of the southern and eastern Corn Belt. A separate area of rain is affecting portions of the middle Missouri Valley.
On the Plains, scattered showers and thunderstorms extend from Nebraska to Texas. Meanwhile, cool but dry weather prevails across the drought-affected northern Plains. On April 25, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-half very short to short in several states, including North Dakota (80%), Texas (67%), South Dakota (62%), Colorado (57%), and Montana (57%).
In the South, warmth is promoting a rapid pace of summer crop emergence and development. Wednesday’s high temperatures will generally range from 80 to 90°. However, showers and a few thunderstorms are overspreading the mid-South, leading to fieldwork delays and pockets of lowland flooding. On April 25, prior to Wednesday’s rain, topsoil moisture was rated at least one-fifth surplus in Mississippi Delta States such as Louisiana (41% surplus) and Arkansas (22%).
In the West, lingering rain and snow showers are confined to the central and southern Rockies. Elsewhere, dry weather accompanies a warming trend. Among major production states, Idaho led the U.S. on April 25 with 87% of its sugarbeets planted, while Washington led the country in planting and emergence for spring wheat (80 and 55%, respectively) and barley (78 and 53%, respectively). Meanwhile, U.S. cotton planting leaders were Arizona (53%) and California (50%).
A slow-moving storm system crossing the nation’s mid-section will continue to produce heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms. From the southeastern Plains into the Ohio Valley, additional rainfall could total 2 to 4 inches or more, leading to possible flooding. By Friday, however, lingering showers should be confined to the Northeast and the Deep South. During the weekend, a new storm system may produce spotty rain showers across the central Plains, Midwest, and middle and lower Mississippi Valley. In contrast, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days across much of the Far West and northern Plains. Elsewhere, a late-week heatwave in the Desert Southwest will gradually shift eastward, with weekend temperatures possibly reaching 90° as far north as Nebraska. Early next week, summer-like warmth will be focused across the South.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or above-normal temperatures and near- or below-normal precipitation across much of the country. Cooler-than-normal condition will be confined to the Pacific Northwest, while wetter-than-normal weather should be limited to portions of the nation’s northern tier, including western Washington and a broad area stretching from the upper Midwest to New England