Across the Corn Belt, cold weather prevails in the wake of a cold front’s passage. Across the upper Midwest, Tuesday morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from 15 to 30°. Early Tuesday, a band of accumulating snow is spreading across parts of the Midwest, including northern Missouri and central Illinois.
On the Plains, unusually cold air continues to drive southward, resulting in daily-record low temperatures for April 20 in locations such as Akron, Colorado (9°), and Goodland, Kansas (19°). Gusty winds accompany the late-season cold blast, which resulted in freezes Tuesday morning as far south as the Lubbock area in western Texas. In addition, snow is falling early Tuesday across portions of the central Plains, including southern and eastern Kansas.
In the South, warm, dry weather across most of the region favors fieldwork and crop development. A few rain showers are occurring, however, across the lower Southeast. On April 18, Florida led the nation with 11% of its peanut crop planted, while Mississippi paced the country with 15% of its intended soybean acreage sown. Lingering wetness in the lower Mississippi Valley left topsoil moisture 43% surplus on April 18 in Louisiana, along with 31% in Arkansas.
In the West, cold air continues to push westward against the eastern slopes of the Rockies. The remainder of the region is experiencing warm, dry weather. On April 18, Washington led the country in planting progress for barley (74% complete) and spring wheat (71% complete), while Idaho led with 74% of its intended sugarbeet acreage planted. Farther south, Arizona led the U.S.—among major production states—with 43% of its cotton acreage planted by April 18.
Freeze Warnings have been issued for Wednesday morning along and north of a line from northern Texas to the middle Ohio Valley. The cold weather could further threaten jointing to heading winter wheat, along with blooming fruits and any emerged summer crops. Lingering freezes will persist through Thursday morning in the Midwest and across the northern half of the Plains. Late-week frost and freezes may also occur in the East as far south as the middle Atlantic States. Subsequently, the cold weather pattern across much of the central and eastern U.S. may begin to break. Meanwhile, general warmth will continue in the West, particularly across California and the Desert Southwest. Elsewhere, little or no precipitation will fall during the next 5 days across the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and from central and southern California into the Southwest, while late-week rainfall could total 1 to 3 inches in the Southeast.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures and near- or above-normal precipitation in much of the northern, eastern, and western U.S. Warmer- and drier-than-normal weather should be confined to the south-central U.S., while Florida’s peninsula will also experience warm conditions.