In the West, a few rain and snow showers linger across the Intermountain region. Chilly weather lingers in most areas, but favorably mild air is beginning to overspread the Northwest.
On the Plains, most fieldwork remains on hold in Montana and North Dakota, where a chilly rain is falling. Very warm, mostly dry weather covers the remainder of the Plains. Across the southern High Plains and neighboring areas, pastures, winter grains, and rain-fed summer crops are still in desperate need of moisture, and wildfires remain a significant threat.
In the Corn Belt, warm, mostly dry weather favor an acceleration of fieldwork, except across the northern tier of the region. During the week ending May 8, producers planted more than one-quarter (27%) of the U.S. acreage intended for corn. Weekly progress ranged from less than 5% in Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Ohio, and Tennessee, to 61% in Iowa and 42% in Nebraska.
In the South, warm, mostly dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development, although drought remains deeply entrenched in the western Gulf Coast region and portions of the southern Atlantic States.
Outlook: A storm system centered over South Dakota will move slowly northeastward into south-central Canada. By Wednesday, a second storm will develop over the central Plains and drift northeastward into the Midwest before stalling. A window of opportunity for Midwestern fieldwork will gradually close from west to east. During the next 5 days, rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches will be common across the northern Plains and the Midwest. Much cooler weather will arrive on the Plains by mid-week and reach the eastern Corn Belt by week’s end. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 15-19 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal conditions in Maine, the central and southern High Plains, and parts of the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the Rio Grande Valley, Mississippi Valley, western Gulf Coast region, and the upper Great Lakes States.