Weather report: Showers stretch across the Plains

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In the West, widely scattered showers stretch from northern and central California to the central Rockies. Those showers are the approximate dividing line between cool weather in the Southwest and record-setting warmth in the Northwest.

On the Plains, showers and thunderstorms are primarily affecting central portions of the region, including Kansas. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather is promoting spring wheat planting and other fieldwork on the northern Plains, while drought continues to worsen across the southern High Plains.

In the Corn Belt, a brief window of warm, dry weather is beginning to close, as an approaching storm system is producing widespread rain showers in the upper Midwest. Warm, dry weather is promoting some corn planting in the central Corn Belt, but cloudiness lingers in the middle Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region.

In the South, a few showers linger across the southern Mid-Atlantic region. Elsewhere, dry weather— accompanied by a gradual warming trend—favors an acceleration of fieldwork.

Outlook: A slow-moving storm affecting the Mid-Atlantic region will drift northeastward, reaching the Canadian Maritimes by week’s end. Meanwhile, a storm beginning to take shape across the nation’s mid-section will move into the Ohio Valley by Friday and New England on Saturday. Five-day rainfall totals associated with the two storms could reach 1 to 2 inches along and south of a line from Kansas to Maine, although amounts may be closer to 3 inches in parts of New England. In contrast, little or no precipitation will fall across the northern Plains and the Southwest. A surge of cold air will trail the storminess. In fact, freezes can be expected in the upper Midwest on May 12, followed by scattered frost early next week from the lower Great Lakes region into the Northeast. At the same time, warmth will expand from the Northwest, reaching as far east as the northern and central Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 13-17 calls for below-normal temperatures across the South and East, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the northern and central Plains and the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drierthan-normal conditions across the interior Southeast.

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