In the West, warmer weather is promoting fieldwork and crop emergence and growth in California. Farther south, beneficial precipitation is developing in parts of the Rio Grande Valley. Rangeland and pastures remain in terrible shape in the Southwest, with the majority of them rated in very poor to poor condition in New Mexico (86%) and Arizona (75%).

On the Plains, warmth is overspreading central portions of the region, but cool conditions are returning to Montana. In Texas, showers and thunderstorms are developing across the southern fringe of the Plains’ wheat and cotton areas.

In the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails, although warmer air is beginning to overspread the upper Midwest. Planting operations, which had been slowed by early-May rainfall, are underway again in some areas. Emerged corn and soybeans continue to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements.

In the South, cooler weather trails a period of beneficial showers. However, more rain is needed in parts of the Southeast to help offset the effects of drought on pastures and summer crops.

Outlook: For today, heavy showers and thunderstorms will continue to erupt across Texas. During the next few days, heavy rain will spread across the western and central Gulf Coast States, where 5-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 6 inches, with locally higher amounts. Late in the weekend, showers will return to the East. Much of the remainder of the country, especially from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains, will experience dry weather into early next week. In addition, heat will build across the West and begin to spread eastward. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 15-19 calls for above-normal temperatures across the northern and western U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail from the southern Rockies into the Southeast. Mean-while, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-thannormal weather across the lower Southeast and central and southern portions of the Rockies and High Plains.