Another intensifying spring storm begins to impact the Heartland

Across Corn Belt, chilly weather lingers early Friday across the upper Great Lakes region.  Meanwhile, showers and a few thunderstorms are developing in the vicinity of a warm front stretching from the Dakotas into the Ohio Valley.  South of the warm front, very warm, humid weather has arrived across the southwestern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, livestock producers in parts of Wyoming, eastern Montana, and the western Dakotas are preparing for another winter-like storm.  Early Friday, in advance of an approaching storm system, a chilly rain is falling across parts of the northern Plains.  In contrast, hot, dry, windy weather across the central and southern Plains is stressing winter grains and greatly increasing the wildfire potential.  Friday’s high temperatures should range from 85 to 90°F or higher as far north as the Nebraska-South Dakota border.

In the South, warm, dry weather is promoting a limited return to fieldwork, following recent downpours.  Some planting delays persist, however, in the wettest areas of the Mississippi Delta and environs.  On April 17 in Mississippi, soybean planting was 10% complete, versus the 5-year average of 22%, while rice planting was 11% complete, versus 28% on average.

In the West, scattered rain and snow showers stretch from California to Montana.  The showers separate cool weather in the Northwest from hot, dry, windy weather in the Southwest.  Several large wildfires are burning across Arizona and New Mexico, with immediate prospects for containment dim due to low humidity levels, high winds, and underlying drought.

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