In the West, cool, wet weather continues across northern portions of the region, slowing winter wheat development but further improving soil moisture and spring runoff prospects. In contrast, increasing warmth and dryness across the Southwest are maintaining drought concerns, particularly in the Four Corners Region.

On the Plains, showers continue to benefit Montana’s winter wheat, and have spread southward into Nebraska, Kansas, and northeastern Colorado. Dry, warmer-than-normal weather prevails across the southern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, showers are improving soil moisture and easing drought in western crop areas, while dry, warm weather in the Ohio Valley is promoting fieldwork and early summer crop establishment.

In the South, generally dry weather has returned to the region after yesterday’s light albeit beneficial showers. However, locally severe drought continues to adversely impact winter grains, pastures, and summer crops across portions of the Southeast.

Outlook: An area of low pressure currently over the central Plains will move northeast, producing a swath of light to moderate rainfall across the central and northern Corn Belt. A trailing cold front will produce showers and thunderstorms from the southeastern Plains to the Atlantic Coast, although the probability for heavy, droughteasing rain with this system is diminishing. Meanwhile, unsettled weather in the Northwest will gradually subside, while dry, increasingly hot weather expands across the most of the western U.S. Western heat will begin working into the Great Plains over the weekend, with summer-like readings likely by early next week from Montana to northern Texas. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 24-28 calls for warmer- and drier-than-normal weather across much of the contiguous U.S. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be confined to areas along the East and West Coasts, while the best chance for surplus rainfall will be across the nation’s northern tier states and in southern California.