Weather report: Major storm unfolding on the Plains

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In the West, chilly conditions persist, although temperatures are starting to rebound in northern California. Farther east, snow is falling in the central and southern Rockies and parts of the Intermountain West.

On the Plains, a major, late-season storm is unfolding. Across Nebraska, current temperatures range from near 10°F along the Wyoming border to 60°F or higher in the southeastern corn er of the state. Wind-driven snow is stressing livestock but providing beneficial moisture in northeastern Colorado, the plains of Wyoming, northern and western Nebraska, and much of South Dakota. Warmth lingers across the southeastern Plains.

In the Corn Belt, warm, mostly dry weather favors fieldwork in the Ohio and middle Mississippi Valleys. In Missouri, corn was 4% planted by April 7, compared to 21% at the same time last year and the 5-year average of 7%. In stark contrast, cold weather covers the northern and western Corn Belt. In addition, showers and thunderstorms are spreading into the upper Midwest, with some freezing rain and snow occurring across the northwestern fringe of the Corn Belt.

In the South, warm weather is promoting rapid crop development. Fieldwork is proceeding in most areas, although a few showers and thunderstorms have developed in the Tennessee and lower Mississippi Valleys.

Outlook: A potent spring storm across the nation’s mid-section will reach the Midwest on Thursday and New England by week’s end. Additional precipitation could reach 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, in the Midwest and lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, snow will fall during the mid- to late-week period across the northern and western Corn Belt. Farther south, locally severe thunderstorms will erupt later today across the southeastern Plains and sweep into the Southeast by Thursday. In the storm’s wake, mid- to late-week freezes can be expected as far south as Texas’ northern panhandle. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 14-18 calls for below-normal temperatures from the Pacific Northwest into the upper Midwest, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail from the southern Rockies to the East Coast. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across the lower Southeast and from the northern Rockies to New England will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in a broad area stretching from California to the southern Plains, Tennessee Valley, and the Mid-Atlantic region.

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