In the West, freeze warnings are in effect this morning in several Northwestern States, including portions of western Montana, southern Idaho, northeastern Oregon, and southeastern Washington. In contrast, warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development in California.

On the Plains, cool weather prevails. In Montana, this morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from 20 to 30°F. Meanwhile, beneficial rain is falling across portions of southern Oklahoma and northern Texas.

In the Corn Belt, mild, dry weather favors a gradual return to planting activities, following early-May downpours. Emerged corn and soybeans continue to benefit from recent soil moisture improvements.

In the South, showers and thunderstorms are moving into the central Gulf Coast region, while rain is ending along the Texas coast. Drought remains a concern with respect to pastures and summer crops in the southern Atlantic States and parts of Alabama.

Outlook: A slow-moving storm currently centered over Texas will drift eastward along the Gulf Coast during the weekend. Additional rainfall could total 2 to 4 inches in the central Gulf Coast region. Early next week, rain will overspread the East, where amounts of 1 to 3 inches may occur. Farther west, some weekend showers (and high-elevation snow) will affect the central and southern Rockies. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will prevail well into next week across the northern and central Plains, upper Midwest, and much of the West. Building heat will accompany the dry weather across the northern Plains and the West. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 16-20 calls for above-normal temperatures across the majority of the U.S., while cooler-thannormal conditions will be confined to the northern Rockies and the southern Atlantic region. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across the Plains, upper Midwest, and lower Southeast will contrast with drierthan- normal weather in the West and from the Mid-South into the lower Great Lakes region.