In the West, mostly dry, increasingly warm weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development. However, cool, rainy conditions linger in the Northwest, boosting soil moisture for winter wheat.

On the Plains, beneficial showers and cooler air are settling over central and southern portions of the region behind a slow-moving cold front. Showers continue to benefit Montana’s winter wheat, although warmer-thannormal conditions have returned to the northern High Plains.

In the Corn Belt, rain and wet snow are diminishing across the Upper Midwest, while a narrow band of showers are pushing slowly across the central Corn Belt. Yesterday’s rain provided much-needed soil moisture to portions of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

In the South, dry weather and seasonable temperatures are promoting fieldwork and crop development. However, locally severe drought continues to adversely impact winter grains, pastures, and summer crops across portions of the Southeast.

Outlook: Over the weekend, a slow-moving cold front will trigger widespread showers and thunderstorms across the eastern half of the nation, followed by temperatures 10°F or more below normal. As the front stalls along the East Coast, a wave of low pressure will develop and move northeast, producing strong winds along with locally heavy rain and possibly high-elevation snow across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. In contrast, increasingly hot weather will expand over the western U.S., with temperatures averaging 20 to 30°F above normal across northern portions of the Rockies and Great Plains by early next week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 25-29 calls for above-normal temperatures from the Rockies to the southern Atlantic Coast, with the greatest probability for abnormal warmth centered over the central Plains and western Corn Belt. Near- to below-normal temperatures will be confined to the Pacific Coast States as well as parts of New England and southern Florida. Drier-than-normal conditions are anticipated in the Southwest and from the middle and lower Mississippi Valley to the East Coast, while wetter-than-normal weather prevails from central California and the Pacific Northwest into the Upper Midwest.