Weather report: Warmth returns to the Plains

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In the West, cool conditions persist along the Pacific Coast and throughout the Northwest. Planting progress and crop emergence continues to lag the normal pace in California and the Northwest. For example, only 2% of California’s rice had been planted by April 29, compared to the 5-year average of 20%. In Washington, 24% of the spring wheat had emerged, versus the 5-year average of 40%.

On the Plains, warm weather prevails, except for below-normal temperatures on Montana’s High Plains. In most areas, a phenomenal pace of winter wheat development continues; for example, 74% of the Kansas crop had headed by April 29, compared to the 5-year average of 7%.

In the Corn Belt, cool weather lingers in the Great Lakes region, where producers continue to assess the impact of the April 27-30 freezes on a variety of fruit crops. Meanwhile, scattered showers and thunderstorms are affecting the western and central Corn Belt, with the heaviest rain falling in the middle Mississippi Valley.

In the South, very warm, mostly dry weather prevails. Later today, temperatures will approach or reach 90°F across much of the region, helping to promote winter wheat maturation and rapid summer crop development.

Outlook: For the remainder of the week, warmer-than-normal weather will dominate the nation. However, exceptions will include California and the Northwest, where cool conditions will persist. Toward week’s end, cool air will also arrive across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Meanwhile, a series of disturbances will maintain unsettled conditions across the northern half of the U.S. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in the Corn Belt. Elsewhere, isolated showers will dot the southern Plains, while a plume of tropical moisture will contribute to locally heavy showers from southern Florida to the central Gulf Coast. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 6-10 calls for above-normal temperatures in the Northwest and much of the Southeast, while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail from Arizona into southern and western Texas. Meanwhile, abovenormal precipitation across the central and southern Plains and the lower Southeast will contrast with drier-thannormal weather in the West and from the Mid-South into the eastern Corn Belt.



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