In the West, very warm, mostly dry weather is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. Washington’s spring wheat planting, which had been lagging the normal pace (30% planted on April 15, compared to the 5-year average of 49%) is accelerating.

On the Plains, dry weather favors fieldwork, winter wheat development, and summer crop emergence and growth. Record-setting warmth prevails across the northern half of the High Plains, where today’s high temperatures will approach 90°F.

In the Corn Belt, scattered frost was noted this morning, although little or no corn had emerged in the freezeaffected areas. This morning’s preliminary low temperatures included 28°F in Madison, Wisconsin; 31°F in Sioux City, Iowa; and 32°F in both South Bend, Indiana, and Moline, Illinois.

In the South, cool, dry weather prevails, except for some lingering showers in the southern Mid-Atlantic region. In the previously parched Atlantic Coast States, pastures, winter grains, and emerging summer crops are benefiting from recent soil moisture improvements.

Outlook: Record-setting warmth across the northern High Plains and much of the West will gradually shift eastward during the early- to mid-week period. During the second half of the week, warmth will arrive across the South, while markedly cooler air will engulf the West. Cooler-than-normal conditions will persist for much of the week across the Midwest and Northeast. Elsewhere, early-week storminess in the Northeast will include late-season snowfall from the central Appalachians into western New York. By mid-week, scattered showers will return to parts of the Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic States, while showery, cooler weather will overspread the West. Toward week’s end, showers and thunderstorms will erupt across the northern and central Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 28 – May 2 calls for warmer-than-normal weather nationwide, except for near- to below-normal temperatures in the Far West. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation from the Pacific Northwest to the Plains and upper Midwest will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the East and Southwest.