A wide-range of weather continues throughout the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, rain showers are gradually ending across the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region. Elsewhere, extensive fieldwork delays continue, despite the brief return of mild, dry weather. Thursday’s high temperatures will reach 70°F or higher across much of the southern Corn Belt. To date, planting activities have been sharply limited by low soil temperatures or wet fields, or a combination of both, especially in the northern and eastern Corn Belt.
On the Plains, dry weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. However, lingering cool conditions on the northern Plains contrast with warm, breezy weather from Nebraska southward. On the parched southern High Plains, Thursday’s high temperatures above 90°F, combined with gusty winds, low humidity levels, and underlying drought, will lead to a significantly elevated grassfire threat.
In the South, warmth continues to replace previously cool conditions. Thursday’s high temperatures could approach 90°F in the western Gulf Coast region. Early Thursday, a few showers and thunderstorms are maintaining wet field conditions in the northern Mississippi Delta. On April 17, Arkansas led the region with topsoil moisture rated 41% surplus.
In the West, stormy weather is returning across northern California and the Northwest. In those areas, the late-season bump in precipitation is boosting topsoil moisture, adding some high-elevation snowpack, and locally improving spring and summer water-supply prospects, but is providing only limited overall relief from a 3-year drought. Meanwhile, warm, windy weather prevails in the Southwest. Several dangerous wildfires are actively burning in Arizona and New Mexico.