Weather report: Rain showers spread across the central Plains

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In the West, widely scattered showers stretch from California to the Intermountain region. Cool conditions from California into the Southwest contrast with record-setting warmth in the Northwest. On Monday, high temperatures soared to 90°F as far north as Yakima, Washington.

On the Plains, rain showers are spreading across central areas, including parts of Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. However, rain is largely bypassing Texas, where the portion of the winter wheat crop rated very poor to poor climbed to 74% by May 5—up from 49% on March 31. Warmth continues to expand across the northern Plains, promoting an acceleration of spring wheat planting and other fieldwork.

In the Corn Belt, mostly dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend, although cloudiness lingers across the Ohio Valley. Today’s high temperatures will approach 80°F as far north as the upper Mississippi Valley. U.S. corn planting, just 12% complete by May 5, has been proceeding at the slowest pace since 1984, when just 9% of the corn had been planted on that date.

In the South, rain is gradually ending across the Carolinas and the Tennessee Valley, but heavy showers are affecting parts of Virginia and neighboring areas. Across the remainder of the South, cool weather in the wake of recent rainfall continues to limit planting activities in some areas.

Outlook: A pair of slow-moving storms will influence the nation’s weather during the next several days. One system, drifting slowly northward across the eastern U.S., could produce additional rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches in the Mid-Atlantic States. The other system, evolving over the Southwest, will move into the South and East by week’s end. Precipitation totals associated with the second storm could reach 1 to 2 inches from the central Plains into the southern Corn Belt, and 1 to 3 inches in the western Gulf Coast States. Meanwhile, warmth will continue in the Northwest, but cooler weather will return during the second half of the week across the Plains and Midwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 12-16 calls for above-normal temperatures across the northern Plains and much of the West, while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail in the South and East. Meanwhile, near- to abovenormal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the Midwest

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