Rains add to fieldwork delays in some Heartland areas


Across the Corn Belt, warm weather from Illinois to Ohio contrast with chilly conditions farther north and west. In addition, significant rain is preventing fieldwork across the northern Corn Belt, including Michigan. Showers and thunderstorms are also developing across the middle Mississippi Valley, in the vicinity of a cold front.

On the Plains, precipitation is ending as a storm system departs. However, a chilly rain lingers across portions of the eastern Dakotas, while showers and thunderstorms are ending across the east-central Plains. In the wake of early- to mid-April showers, topsoil moisture rated very short to short ranges from 7% in Montana and North Dakota to 29% in Oklahoma and Texas.

In the South, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development. Impacts of mid-March freezes remain apparent in Southeastern crops such as blueberries (rated 74% very poor to poor on April 16 in Georgia) and peaches (rated 89% very poor to poor in South Carolina).

In the West, cool, showery weather remains an impediment to fieldwork in northern California and the Northwest. Meanwhile, a warm, dry, breezy weather regime continues across the Desert Southwest. As a result, there is an elevated to critical risk of wildfires today in portions of the Four Corners States.

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