Weather report: Freeze warnings across the Plains

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In the West, warmth continues to gradually expand eastward from the Pacific Coast States. Cool conditions linger, however, across the central and southern Rockies. Throughout the West, dry weather favors fieldwork, although drought continues to intensify across the Four Corners region.

On the Plains, freeze warnings are in effect this morning in many areas from Nebraska to Texas. On the central and southern High Plains, the latest cold snap is another blow to winter wheat that has already been harmed by drought and multiple spring freezes.

In the Corn Belt
, a nearly stationary band of precipitation stretches from the middle Mississippi Valley into the upper Midwest, curtailing fieldwork. Snow lingers along the western edge of the precipitation shield. On May 1-2, snowfall totaled a foot or more in parts of southeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. In stark contrast, warm, dry weather is accelerating fieldwork in the eastern Corn Belt.

In the South, very cool air is overspreading areas west of the Mississippi Delta. Meanwhile, locally heavy rain continues across the lower Mississippi Valley and portions of the lower Southeast. The cool, showery weather is limiting fieldwork that has already been significantly delayed in some areas, including the Delta.

Outlook: A slow-moving storm over the nation’s mid-section will drift east during the next several days. Because the storm is cut off from atmospheric steering currents, moderate to heavy rainfall (2-4 inches, locally more) is likely from the Mississippi Valley into the Southeast. In contrast, little or no precipitation will fall during the next 5 days across the Northeast and northern Plains. Following today’s freeze on the Plains, temperatures will slowly moderate. By early next week, warmth will expand across the nation’s northern tier, while clouds and scattered showers increase from California into the central and southern Rockies. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 8-12 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of U.S., except for above-normal temperatures in the Northeast. Warmer-than-normal weather will also prevail in the West. Meanwhile, belownormal precipitation from the northern Rockies to the upper Midwest will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across most of the southern and eastern U.S.

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