More rain for much of the Corn Belt, parts of the Plains
Across the Corn Belt, cloudiness is increasing in advance of an approaching cold front, while a few rain showers are developing from the Mississippi Valley westward. Midwestern conditions are largely not conducive to planting activities and other spring fieldwork, due to cool soils, wet fields, or a combination of both.
On the Plains, hot, breezy weather in Oklahoma and Texas is causing further deterioration of winter wheat, as well as rangeland and pastures, especially in the hardest-hit drought areas. On April 17, more than three-quarters (81%) of the winter wheat in Texas, along with 80% of the oats and 76% of the rangeland and pastures, were rated in very poor to poor condition. Elsewhere, a chilly rain—mixed with some wet snow—is falling early today across portions of the northern Plains, mainly in the Dakotas.
In the South, Frost and Freeze Advisories and Warnings were in effect early Wednesday in portions of Virginia and the Carolinas, as well as eastern sections of Kentucky and Tennessee. Meanwhile, showers and thunderstorms are returning across the mid-South, maintaining a slow fieldwork pace in the Mississippi Delta and neighboring areas.
In the West, mostly dry weather prevails between storms. However, cool weather in much of California and the Northwest contrasts with ongoing warmth in the Four Corners States. As winds increase, wildfires remain a threat in parts of the Southwest, especially in parched New Mexico.