In the West, cooler weather is arriving in California, but warm conditions continue farther inland. The recent (and ongoing) warm spell is further dimming summer runoff prospects across roughly the southern two-thirds of the West, as already meager snowpacks are prematurely melting.

On the Plains, unusually warm weather continues to promote a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development. However, pockets of dryness remain a concern on the High Plains. Record-setting warmth persists on the central and southern High Plains, where today’s high temperatures will again exceed 90°F.

In the Corn Belt, cool conditions in the Great Lakes region contrasts with very warm weather west of the Mississippi River. Some fruit crops in the lower Great Lakes region’s fruit belt have been harmed by a series of late-March and April freezes, following an extended period of unprecedented March warmth.

In the South, warmer weather is arriving, although cool conditions linger in the Atlantic Coast States. Despite recent rainfall, more precipitation is needed across the drought-affected lower Southeast.

Outlook: A wavy frontal boundary currently stretching from the northern Rockies into the Southeast will separate record-setting warmth over the Plains from unseasonably cold weather north of the front. As the front pushes slowly south, locally heavy rain will develop from the northern and central Plains into the Mid- Atlantic, while notably cooler weather settles over the nation’s mid-section. A strong area of cold high pressure behind the front will bring the threat of a weekend freeze to the Great Lakes region, possibly damaging fruit crops as well as other temperature-sensitive commodities. Meanwhile, rain and high-elevation snow will accompany the cooler weather into the Pacific Coast States. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 30 - May 4 calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, above-normal rainfall in the south-central U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in much of the East and from California to the central and southern High Plains.