In the West, cool weather accompanies rain and snow showers in the Pacific Coast States. Precipitation is especially beneficial in California, where March wetness has improved summer water-supply prospects.
On the Plains, rain is confined to south-central Texas. Elsewhere, dry weather and above-normal to recordsetting temperatures are promoting a rapid pace of winter wheat development. By March 25, nearly threequarters (73%) of Oklahoma’s wheat crop had jointed, compared to the 5-year average of 50%. In Kansas, more than one-third (36%) of the wheat had jointed, versus the 5-year average of 11%.
In the Corn Belt, cooler air is returning to the Great Lakes region, but unusually warm weather prevails across the remainder of the Midwest. In the wake of the March 26-27 cold snap, fruit producers in Michigan and Ohio continue to evaluate crops for any signs of freeze damage.
In the South, warm weather favors a rapid fieldwork and crop developmental pace. By March 25, corn planting was nearly half complete in Georgia (47%) and Texas (42%). At least one-quarter of the corn had been planted in South Carolina (27%) and Mississippi (25%).
Outlook: During the second half of the week, another surge of cool air will arrive across the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, resulting in additional frosts and freezes—starting in northern Lower Michigan on Thursday morning. Meanwhile, a disturbance crossing the central and eastern U.S. will produce generally light rain showers, with amounts in excess of an inch possible from Texas into the Mid-South. More significant precipitation will fall across northern California and the Northwest, where 5-day totals could reach 4 to 8 inches. Mostly dry weather will prevail though week’s end, however, from the Southwest to the High Plains. Elsewhere, above-normal to record-setting temperatures will continue for the next several days from the nation’s mid-section into the Southeast. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 2-6 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain. Warm weather will be most likely across the western half of the U.S. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Northwest.