Weather report: Warm and sunny in the West

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In the West, warm, sunny weather promotes fieldwork, including rice and cotton planting, in California and the Southwest. Snow has ended in most Intermountain Watersheds.

On the Plains, snow showers linger in central and northern areas as cold air descends upon the region in the wake of a strong spring storm. Freeze warnings are in effect as far south as North Texas.

In the Corn Belt, a spring storm is generating widespread rain, flooding, and locally severe weather in the middle Mississippi Valley and central Great Lakes Region. Meanwhile, snow will fall throughout the day in the upper Midwest, promising to bring several additional inches of snow to Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

In the South, the cold front moving eastward from Texas will bring heavy rain and the potential for severe weather to the Delta later today. Mostly dry weather will facilitate summer crop planting in the Southeast.

Outlook: Over the next few days, the center of the Midwestern spring storm will track northeastward over the Great Lakes Region, trailing a cold front that will bring rain and thunderstorms to much of the East through Saturday morning. Rainfall totaling more than 1 inch will be possible from the Florida Panhandle to southern New England, with lighter rain anticipated in Florida’s Peninsula. Another cool morning is expected tomorrow on the Great Plains in the wake of the storm, with freeze warnings in effect as far south as Lubbock, Texas. Meanwhile, a new storm system will bring locally heavy rain and snow showers to the Pacific Northwest, with a wintery mix of precipitation forecast to return to the northern Plains by the weekend. Warm, dry weather will support rapid planting of row crops in California and the Southwest. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 23-27 calls for cooler-than-normal weather from the Great Plains to the Atlantic Coast, with the highest likelihood of below-normal temperatures in the Delta and upper Mississippi Valley. In contrast, above-normal temperatures are expected in the West and New England. Wetter-than-normal conditions are forecast for much of the East, and below-normal precipitation is expected from the central Plains westward.

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