Weather report: Storms drench the Plains

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In the West, snow is falling in parts of the central Rockies, while a few rain showers dot the Intermountain region. Cool weather prevails from southern California to the central and southern Rockies, while recordsetting warmth is promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development in the Northwest.

On the Plains, recent and ongoing thunderstorms have produced localized wind and hail damage in Kansas, Oklahoma, northern Texas, and southeastern Colorado. However, the storms are also providing beneficial moisture, especially on the central and southern High Plains. Meanwhile, cooler weather is returning to the northern Plains, where freezes were noted this morning in parts of North Dakota.

In the Corn Belt, cool weather is returning to the upper Midwest, while rain showers stretch from the Missouri to Lake Superior. As a result, most fieldwork is again at a standstill in the western Corn Belt, except in the Dakotas. Meanwhile, warm, dry weather has temporarily returned to the eastern Corn Belt.

In the South, showers and locally severe thunderstorms are overspreading parts of Arkansas and Missouri. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors a limited return to fieldwork, following recent rainfall.

Outlook: A storm system over the nation’s mid-section will move into the southern and eastern U.S. during the weekend. Precipitation associated with the storm could reach 1 to 2 inches or more from southern and eastern Texas into the Northeast, including parts of the central and eastern Corn Belt. In the storm’s wake, a late-season surge of cool air will overspread the Midwest during the weekend and the eastern U.S. early next week. Widespread freezes can be expected across the upper Midwest during the weekend. Early next week, frost will occur from the Great Lakes region into the interior Northeast. Meanwhile, very warm weather in the Northwest will expand to cover most of the remainder of the western U.S. during the weekend and the northern and central Plains early next week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 14-18 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures across the majority of the U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail across the South. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in the Southeast and the Intermountain West will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast and across southern portions of the Rockies and High Plains.

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