In the West, cool weather prevails in the central and southern Rockies. Elsewhere, a temporary spell of warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development in advance of an approaching storm.

On the Plains, scattered showers linger across eastern parts of Kansas and Nebraska. Dry but unusually cool weather covers the remainder of the region. This morning’s temperatures fell below 40°F across the northern Plains and the central High Plains, with isolated locations reporting readings below 32°F.

In the Corn Belt, a favorable period for corn planting and other spring fieldwork has largely ended. Very cool air is settling across the western Corn Belt, while mild, showery weather prevails farther east. Currently, some of the Midwest’s heaviest rain is falling in southern Iowa.

In the South, locally heavy rain is falling in the lower Mississippi Valley, where flood mitigation efforts continue. The Mississippi River’s broad crest is passing through the northern Delta near Helena, Arkansas, where higher water levels have been observed only twice—in February 1937 and April 1927. Mostly dry weather prevails in the Southeast and has returned to the western Gulf Coast region.

Outlook: A slow-moving storm centered over the Midwest will drift eastward, reaching the Mid-Atlantic region early next week. During the next 5 days, widespread rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches can be expected from the central Corn Belt into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. Lighter amounts of rain will fall in the Southeast. Unusually cool air for this time of year will trail the storm across the Plains and Midwest. Frost and light freezes may occur across the northern and central Plains and the upper Midwest during the weekend and early next week. Very cool weather will also return to the West, accompanied by heavy precipitation in the Pacific Northwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 18-22 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures and near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the nation. Warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to the western Gulf Coast region, New England, and parts of the upper Midwest, while drier-thannormal conditions will be limited to the Southeast, Southwest, and the upper Great Lakes region.