In the West, cool weather is returning to the Pacific Northwest and coastal California. Farther inland, warm, mostly dry weather continues to promote fieldwork and crop growth.

On the Plains, isolated showers across northern areas are providing beneficial moisture for winter wheat and spring-sown small grains. Hot, dry weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. Today’s high temperatures will exceed 90°F as far north as South Dakota.

In the Corn Belt, frost was noted this morning in parts of northern Lower Michigan. Houghton Lake, Michigan, with a low of 30°F, reported its first freeze since April 29. Dry weather prevails elsewhere in the Corn Belt, except for a few showers across the upper Midwest.

In the South, beneficial rain continues to provide limited drought relief in the southern Atlantic States. On May 13, nearly half (44%) of Florida’s rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition, along with 23% of Georgia’s. Meanwhile, the winter wheat harvest is well underway in Louisiana (51% complete by May 13, compared to the 5-year average of 8%) and Georgia (27%, versus the average of 3%), and has begun in Alabama (8% complete) and Mississippi (3%).

Outlook: During the next 5 days, generally dry weather will prevail from California to Texas. Meanwhile, occasional rain will linger along the southern Atlantic Coast, while scattered showers will spread from the Pacific Northwest into the Midwest. Some of the heaviest rain will fall in southern Florida (2 to 4 inches) and the upper Midwest (1 to 2 inches). Elsewhere, a core area of unusual warmth currently over the nation’s mid-section will spread across the Midwest and Northeast by week’s end. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 22-26 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in Florida and the Northwest. Meanwhile, below-normal rainfall in the Northeast and from California to the central and southern Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather along the southern Atlantic Coast and across the nation’s northern tier from the Pacific Northwest to Minnesota.