Much warmer; rains develop on parts of the Plains, beneficial on central areas

Much warmer; rains develop on parts of the Plains, beneficial on central areas

Across the Corn Belt, warm, dry weather in the western Corn Belt is promoting an acceleration of planting activities and other spring fieldwork.  Friday’s high temperatures will generally range from 70 to 85°F.

On the Plains, warm weather is replacing previously chilly conditions.  Some of the warmest weather, relative to normal, covers the northern half of the Plains, except for lingering cool conditions in wetter areas of eastern North Dakota and northeastern South Dakota.  Farther south, scattered showers in Oklahoma and Texas are providing limited drought relief.  On April 30, more than one-half of the rangeland and pastures were rated in very poor to poor condition in Oklahoma (58%) and Texas (51%). 

In the South, dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend.  In most areas, conditions are nearly ideal for summer crop planting, emergence, and growth, as well as winter wheat maturation.  Friday’s high temperatures will top 80°F throughout the Deep South, from southern and eastern Texas to Florida. 

IIn the West, below-normal temperatures in California and the Desert Southwest contrast with lingering warmth in the Rockies and Northwest.  Rain and snow showers accompany California’s cool weather.  Friday’s high temperatures will remain below 70°F in much of California’s Central Valley—but could approach 90°F in parts of eastern Washington.  Northwestern warmth is highly favorable for planting and emergence of crops such as barley and spring wheat.