Weather report: Cold and dry on the Plains

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In the West, very cool weather prevails, except for some lingering warmth in the southern Rockies. Frost and freeze warnings are in effect this morning in several areas, including northwestern California, southwestern and northeastern Oregon, and southeastern Washington. Meanwhile, snow is developing across the Intermountain West.

On the Plains
, warmth lingers across Texas, excluding the northern panhandle. Elsewhere, cold, mostly dry weather prevails in advance of a developing storm system. However, snow is already developing on the High Plains as far south as western Nebraska.

In the Corn Belt
, a band of showers and thunderstorms stretches from the lower Great Lakes region into the middle Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, warmth is limited to the Ohio Valley. Most Midwestern fieldwork remains on hold. Among the major Corn Belt States, only Missouri (8% planted) and Illinois (1%) have sown any corn.

In the South, warm, mostly dry weather is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development.

Outlook: In a virtual repeat from last week, a major spring storm will unfold across the U.S. The storm, currently centered over the Southwest, will emerge across the Plains at mid-week and reach the Great Lakes region by Friday. The axis of heaviest precipitation will extend from the southeastern Plains into Michigan, with 2 to 4 inches or more expected. Meanwhile, another round of heavy snow will affect areas from the central Rockies and northern Intermountain West into the upper Great Lakes region. Farther south, high winds will rake the southern Plains and parts of the Southwest, while locally severe thunderstorms can be expected in the nation’s southeastern quadrant. In the storm’s wake, temperatures could fall below 32°F as far south as the southern High Plains, and below 20°F on the central High Plains, on April 18-19. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 21-25 calls for below-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetterthan-normal conditions in the Great Lakes region and along the Atlantic Seaboard.

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