A late-Winter look & feel across most of the Nation’s mid-section


A late-Winter look & feel across most of the Nation’s mid-section

Across the Corn Belt, cloudy, chilly, breezy weather—accompanied by rain and snow showers—continues to inhibit spring fieldwork, including planting preparations.  Friday’s high temperatures will remain below 50°F across most of the Midwest—and will struggle to reach 40°F in the upper Great Lakes region.

On the Plains, an elevated wildfire threat continues in many areas from South Dakota to Texas, especially where dry, breezy conditions accompany underlying drought and ample cured fine fuels.  Meanwhile, warmth is returning across the northern High Plains, where Friday’s high temperatures could reach 75°F or higher as far north as north-central Montana.

In the South, cool, breezy weather trails the passage of a strong cold front.  Any lingering showers are largely confined to the Ozark Plateau and the Tennessee Valley.  Several Southeastern rivers, mainly in Georgia and South Carolina, are running high in the wake of recent downpours.  In addition, wet Southeastern fields are causing temporary planting delays.  Southeastern producers are preparing for an upcoming cool spell; on April 3, at least three-quarters of the peaches were blooming in South Carolina (75%) and Georgia (76%).

In the West, an early-season heat wave continues in parts of California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest.  Friday’s high temperatures will reach 95°F as far north as California’s San Joaquin Valley.  In nearby mountainous areas, such as the Sierra Nevada, record-setting warmth is causing substantial snowpack melting.  According to the California Department of Water Resources, the average water equivalency of the Sierra Nevada snowpack has fallen from 16 to 7 inches since mid-March.  Any Western precipitation is confined to the Pacific Northwest, where a few showers are spreading inland.