Weather report: Snow returns to the Plains, Corn Belt

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In the West, warm weather favors fieldwork and crop development in the Pacific Coast States. Meanwhile, chilly conditions linger across the central and southern Rockies and parts of the Intermountain West.

On the Plains, a band of precipitation stretches from southeastern Nebraska to northern Texas. The northwestern edge of the precipitation shield is falling as snow. The southern High Plains were spared from a significant freeze this morning, but strong northerly winds are resulting in some blowing dust.

In the Corn Belt, a winter storm warning is in effect today for heavy snow across southeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. A mixture of rain and snow is falling across the remainder of the upper Midwest. In contrast, warm, dry weather is promoting an acceleration of fieldwork in the eastern Corn Belt.

In the South, showers are increasing in coverage and intensity, especially in Florida and the central Gulf Coast region. The wet weather is slowing fieldwork, including planting activities in the Mississippi Delta.

Outlook: A slow-moving storm over the nation’s mid-section will drift eastward during the next several days. Due to the storm’s slow movement, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches or more from the Mississippi Valley into the Southeast. However, the threat of heavy snow—from the east-central Plains into the upper Midwest—will diminish after today. In contrast, little or no precipitation will occur during the next 5 days across New England and the northern Plains. In the storm’s wake, freezes can be expected on May 3 as far south as the southern High Plains. By early next week, warmth will expand across the nation’s northern tier, while clouds and showers will increase from California to the southern Rockies. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 7-11 calls for coolerthan-normal conditions across the eastern half the U.S., except for near- to above-normal temperatures in the Northeast. Warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from the Pacific Northwest to the upper Midwest will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the East and across the southern High Plains and the Southwest.

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