In the West, sharply cooler weather has replaced early-week warmth. Nevertheless, some flooding is underway across the northern Rockies, where recent precipitation and snow melt have combined to elevate river levels.

On the Plains, cool, showery weather across the northern half of the region contrasts with lingering warmth farther south. Rain across the northern half of the Plains is beneficial for winter wheat and emerging summer crops, including spring wheat.

In the Corn Belt, another freeze in the lower Great Lakes region has resulted in the possibility of further injury to fruit crops. In the freeze-affected area, very little winter wheat has begun to head, while only a small amount of corn has emerged. By April 22, for example, 2% of Ohio’s corn had emerged.

In the South, mild, mostly dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development. Despite recent rainfall, more precipitation is needed to ease drought concerns across the lower Southeast.

Outlook: In the lower Great Lakes region and northern Mid-Atlantic States, freezes will continue to pose a threat to fruit and ornamental crops through the weekend. To a lesser extent, freezes in those regions could threaten jointed to headed winter wheat and emerged summer crops. Meanwhile, periods of rain will occur in the vicinity of a wavy frontal boundary stretching from the Plains to the Mid-Atlantic region. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in the middle Mississippi Valley. In addition, severe thunderstorms may affect portions of the central Plains and the Mid-South later today, and the Ohio Valley on Saturday. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather will prevail during the next several days in the Southeast, except for some rain in southern Florida, while dry weather will accompany a warming trend from California into the Southwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 2-6 calls for nearto above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in the Pacific Northwest and from the southern Plains into the Midwest will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the Gulf and Atlantic Coast States and from southern California to the central and southern Rockies.