In the West, generally warm, dry weather continues to favor fieldwork and rapid crop development. However, cooler air is spreading inland across the Pacific Northwest.

On the Plains, a few showers are developing, mainly in parts of South Dakota and Texas. However, the region’s sudden turn toward very warm weather is allowing for an increase in fieldwork. On the central and southern High Plains, hot weather is another blow to winter wheat already hit hard by freezes and drought.

In the Corn Belt, very warm weather continues to promote an acceleration of fieldwork, including corn planting. However, a few showers and thunderstorms are starting to develop along a west-to-east oriented axis stretching from South Dakota to northern Ohio. In the western Corn Belt, Tuesday’s brief surge of extreme heat resulted in record highs for May in locations such as Tekamah, Nebraska (108°F), and Sioux City, Iowa (106°F).

In the South, a few showers and thunderstorms are developing across southern and eastern Texas. Across the remainder of the region, dry weather favors spring fieldwork, including previously delayed cotton, rice, and soybean planting operations.

Outlook: Warm weather will cover much of the U.S. during the next several days. Late-week warmth will be especially notable across the High Plains. Toward week’s end, however, cooler air will arrive in the West. By early next week, cooler weather will overspread the Plains. Meanwhile, a more active weather pattern—featuring locally severe thunderstorms—will develop across the Plains and Midwest. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 2 inches or more across the upper Midwest. In contrast, little or no rain will fall from central and southern California to the southern High Plains. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 20-24 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures across the majority of the U.S., while cooler-than-normal conditions will prevail in the upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Gulf Coast region. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation from the central and southern Rockies to the lower Mississippi Valley will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather from the Midwest into the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States