Weather report: Cool and mostly dry on the Plains

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In the West, a new Pacific storm is bringing rain and snow showers to Washington and Oregon. Warm, sunny weather supports fieldwork, including rice and cotton planting, in California and the Southwest.

On the Plains, cool, mostly dry weather dominates in the wake of a strong storm system, although light snow showers linger in northern areas. Freezes were again recorded this morning as far south as North Texas, where some locations reported temperatures in the low 20s degrees F.

In the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms continue this morning over the Ohio Valley along the cold front that swept through the Midwest overnight. Flood warnings are still active from Missouri to Michigan, following soaking rain (local amounts in excess of 5 inches). Snow showers linger in the upper Midwest.

In the South, showers and thunderstorms extend from the Gulf Coast to the southern Appalachians at the southern end of a strong cold front. Rain should reach the southern Atlantic Coast by this afternoon.

Outlook: Over the next 24 hours, the strong cold front approaching the Atlantic Coast is expected to generate widespread, locally showers and thunderstorms from the Florida Panhandle to southern New England. By tomorrow morning, rainfall totaling more than 1 inch will be possible in most areas. Lighter rain is initially anticipated in Florida’s Peninsula, but additional rain is expected to form early next week. Cool weather will gradually shift eastward from the Great Plains in the storm’s wake, with frost and freezing temperatures possible in the middle Mississippi and Ohio Valleys over the next few days. Precipitation from the new Pacific storm system is forecast to reach the northern Plains by the Sunday. However, warm, dry weather will continue in California and the Southwest, supporting rapid planting of row crops and other seasonal fieldwork. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 24-28 depicts drier-than-normal weather stretching from the West Coast into the middle Mississippi Valley. Dryness is also forecast for parts of the Gulf Coast, but wet conditions are expected from the mid-Atlantic to New England. Above-normal temperatures are forecast throughout the West and in parts of New England but coolerthan-normal weather will dominate a broad section of the country from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Coast, with the highest likelihood of below-normal temperatures in the Delta and upper Mississippi Valley.

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