Weather report: Dry and warm on the Plains

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In the West, near-to above-normal temperatures continue in most areas, despite an increase in cloudiness. A storm system is beginning to take shape across the northern Intermountain West, resulting in scattered showers in the Northwest. Meanwhile, spring fieldwork continues to advance in California and the Southwest.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather accompanies a warming trend. Warmth is especially notable on the High Plains, where today’s high temperatures will exceed 80°F as far north as southwestern Kansas and south-eastern Colorado. Cloudiness is increasing across the northern Plains in advance on an approaching storm.

In the Corn Belt, chilly conditions persist, especially across the region’s northern tier. Spring fieldwork remains at a virtual standstill in many areas due to low soil temperatures and — in parts of the southern Corn Belt — wet conditions.

In the South, cool weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm. However, rain showers linger in the southern Atlantic region, mainly across Georgia and Florida. Showers are especially beneficial across Florida’s peninsula, where drought has boosted irrigation demands a nd increased the risk of spring wildfires.

Outlook: A storm currently developing over the northern Intermountain West will move eastward, reaching the Great Lakes region by Sunday. Rain and snow showers will accompany the storm’s track across the nation’s northern tier. By early next week, a more significant storm system will evolve across the central and southern Plains. The second system will reach the upper Great Lakes region by mid-week. Late-season snow can be expected from central portions of the Rockies and High Plains into the upper Midwest. Rain will fall across the remainder of the central Plains and Midwest. Along the storm’s trailing cold front, locally severe thunderstorms will affect parts of the South. In the storm’s wake, cold weather will return to the Plains and the West. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 10-14 calls for above-normal temperatures in much of the East and Far West, while colder-than-normal conditions will prevail from southern sections of the Rockies and Plains into the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather from California to the Rio Grande Valley.

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