In the West, mild, dry weather in the Pacific Coast States favors fieldwork and crop growth. Farther east, however, chilly conditions linger across the Rockies and Intermountain West in the wake of recent storminess.

On the Plains, precipitation—including some snow—lingers across Montana and the Dakotas. Meanwhile, hard freezes continue to threaten winter wheat on the central and southern High Plains. This morning’s lows fell to near 0°F in western Nebraska—where a snow cover is providing wheat with some insulation—and dipped to 20°F or below as far south as Texas’ northern panhandle.

In the Corn Belt, snow lingers across the far upper Midwest. Meanwhile, a band of showers and thunderstorms stretches from the lower Great Lakes region into the lower Ohio Valley. Midwestern fieldwork remains on hold due to ongoing precipitation; cool, wet soils; and low air temperatures.

In the South, a solid line of showers and thunderstorms stretches from Kentucky to the western Gulf Coast. Sharply colder air trails the thunderstorm activity. Overnight thunderstorms produced localized wind damage and isolated tornadoes in the Mid-South, including parts of Arkansas and Missouri. Meanwhile, warm, dry weather continues to promote fieldwork and crop development in the southern Atlantic States.

Outlook: The storm system currently centered over the Midwest will drift northward and gradually weaken. Precipitation associated with the storm will largely move off the East Coast or into Canada by late Friday. Meanwhile, a new storm will begin to take shape across the Northwest, resulting in weekend precipitation (rain and snow) in the north-central U.S. Early next week, another system will take shape across the nation’s mid-section, maintaining chilly conditions from the Northwest into the upper Midwest and producing additional, drought-easing precipitation. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 16-20 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures and near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. Warmer-than-normal weather will be mostly confined to California and the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, while drier-than-normal conditions will be limited to the southern tip of Florida and from the Pacific Coast States to the southern High Plains.