Weather report: Dry and windy in the West

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In the West, dry, windy conditions are maintaining concerns about additional wildfire activity in the southern Great Basin and the Four Corners States. Meanwhile, unusually cool weather is slowing crop development in California and the Northwest. Scattered rain and snow showers dot the northern Intermountain West.

On the Plains, cool weather follows a period of beneficial showers across northern portions of the region. Meanwhile on the southern High Plains, hot, dry weather is promoting early-season winter wheat harvesting but stressing pastures, rangeland, and rain-fed summer crops.

In the Corn Belt, rain is ending across the upper Midwest, where summer crops are benefiting from recent soil moisture improvements. Meanwhile across the southern and eastern Corn Belt, building heat and diminishing soil moisture reserves are increasing stress on pastures, winter wheat, corn, and soybeans.

In the South, a tropical disturbance is producing locally heavy showers in the vicinity of the central Atlantic Coast. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather is promoting rapid crop development, although drought is adversely affecting pastures and summer crops in the Mid-South and lower Southeast.

Outlook: A developing storm system over the Intermountain West will bring a late-week return to rainy weather across the northern Plains and the upper Midwest. The storm’s center will slowly cross the northern Plains during the Memorial Day weekend; total rainfall could reach 2 to 4 inches in the upper Midwest and 1 to 2 inches on the northern Plains. In the storm’s wake, frost is possible early next week on the northern High Plains. In stark contrast, a holiday weekend heat wave will affect much of the South, East, and lower Midwest, with multiple days of 90-degree heat expected in many locations. Elsewhere during the weekend, a critical risk of wildfire development and expansion will persist in the Southwest, while a tropical disturbance may develop and lurk near the southern Atlantic Coast. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 30 – June 3 calls for drier-than-normal weather west of the Mississippi, while above-normal rainfall is expected across the Atlantic Coast States. Abnormal warmth across much of the West will contrast with cooler-than-normal weather over the Midwest and Northeast.



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