Weather report: Heavy rain to drench the eastern Plains Wednesday

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In the West, scattered snow showers are expected throughout the day in the central Rockies. Frost and freeze warnings are again in effect this morning in several areas, including northwestern California, southwestern and northeastern Oregon, and southeastern Washington.

On the Plains, snow is falling this morning from the central High Plains to the Red River Valley, as stormy weather intensifies over eastern Nebraska. Light rain is falling in West Texas, though coverage is patchy.

In the Corn Belt
, heavy rain, with the potential for locally severe weather, will develop today over the eastern Plains and Middle Mississippi Valley. Flood watches are in effect from Missouri to Michigan.

In the South, warm, humid weather dominates, with light showers lingering along the Gulf Coast. Conditions are generally favorable for fieldwork and crop development throughout the region, although showers and thunderstorms may develop this afternoon in advance of more significant rain later in the week.

Outlook: The storm system centered over the southern Plains is becoming more organized as it begins to generate locally heavy precipitation over the Nation’s mid-section. Over the next few days, heavy rain (2 to 4 inches or more) is expected from eastern Oklahoma to Michigan, and in the Delta, where up to 2 inches is forecast. Flood watches are already in effect for much of the aforementioned region. In the storm’s wake, temperatures could fall below 32°F as far south as the southern High Plains, and below 20°F on the central High Plains, on April 18-19, raising concern for jointing to heading wheat. By week’s end, a strong cold front associated with the storm will reach the Atlantic Coast, producing locally heavy rain from the Southeast to New England. Temperatures will gradually moderate over the Pacific Northwest, as continued warmth and dryness supports fieldwork in California and the Southwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 22-26 depicts near- to above-normal rainfall from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Coast, with drier conditions forecast from the Rockies westward. Above-normal temperatures will accompany the dryness in the West. Near- to above-normal temperatures are expected in New England, but cool weather will dominate much of the Nation’s mid-section, particularly the upper Midwest.

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