In the West, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop growth. Planting is ahead of the normal pace for most crops, including cotton (in Arizona and California), rice (in California), and spring wheat (in Idaho and Washington).

On the Plains, very warm weather continues to promote an acceleration of fieldwork and crop development. Warmth is especially notable on the central Plains, where today’s high temperatures will again approach or reach 95°F. Precipitation (showers and thunderstorms) are mostly confined to the Red River Valley.

In the Corn Belt, cool weather lingers across Michigan and Ohio, accompanied by scattered showers. Warmer air is overspreading the remainder of the Midwest, promoting an acceleration of corn and early-season soybean planting.

In the South, frost advisories were in effect this morning as far south as northern and western North Carolina. Elsewhere, dry but cool weather is conducive to fieldwork operations, including cotton, peanut, rice, and soybean planting.

Outlook: A brief period of warm, mostly dry weather across much of the nation will gradually come to an end. At mid-week, scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop from the southeastern Plains into the lower Midwest. Late in the week and during the weekend, heavier rain (1 to 2 inches or more) will affect portions of the northern Plains and upper Midwest. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail from California to the southern High Plains. Late in the week, cooler weather in the West will contrast with record-setting warmth on the High Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 19-23 calls for above-normal temperatures along and northeast of a line from Indiana to South Carolina, as well as the central and southern High Plains and the Southwest. Cooler-thannormal conditions will prevail in the Pacific Northwest, the Gulf Coast region, and along and near the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in the lower Mississippi Valley and central and southern portions of the Rockies and Plains will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the upper Midwest into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States.