In the West, cooler-than-normal weather continues to limit crop development in much of California and the Northwest. A few showers linger across the Northwest, but dry weather across the remainder of the region favors planting activities and other spring fieldwork.

On the Plains, cooler air is overspreading Montana. Across the remainder of the nation’s mid-section, warm weather continues to promote planting activities and a torrid pace of winter wheat development. By April 29, wheat was already beginning to head (5%) in Nebraska, with the majority of the crop (74%, compared to the 5- year average of 7%) already headed in Kansas.

In the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are causing temporary fieldwork disruptions but boosting soil moisture for emerging summer crops. Rain is especially beneficial in the upper Midwest, which—until recently—had trended dry since late-summer 2011.

In the South, warm, mostly dry weather favors a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. Isolated showers are confined to the central Gulf Coast region.

Outlook: A series of disturbances will continue to trigger widespread showers and thunderstorms across the northern half of the U.S. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches, with locally higher amounts, in the Midwest. Farther south, dry weather will prevail from central and southern California into the Southwest, while isolated showers will affect the southern Plains and the Southeast. Meanwhile, the majority of the nation will experience above-normal temperatures into early next week. Chilly conditions will persist, however, in California and the Northwest, while cool air will begin to overspread the northern Plains and upper Midwest during the weekend. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 7-11 calls for above-normal temperatures in the Southeast and much of the West, while cooler-than-normal conditions will affect the lower Great Lakes region and the Northeast. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in the Northeast and west of the Rockies will contrast with wetter-thannormal weather in the southern Atlantic region and the nation’s mid-section, including the central and southern Plains and the western Corn Belt.