Cooler, drier weather settles into much of the Heartland; rains on the far southern Plains

Across the Corn Belt, rain showers linger early Friday in the lower Great Lakes region and the Ohio Valley.  Cool air trails the rain, with freezes reported Friday morning in parts of the western Corn Belt, extending as far south as Iowa and Nebraska.  Few freeze-related agricultural impacts are expected, as any meaningful summer-crop emergence has not yet occurred in those areas.  In Iowa, for example, only 4% of the intended corn acreage had been planted by April 14.

On the Plains, cool, mostly dry weather prevails.  Although widespread freezes occurred early Friday on the northern Plains, development of winter wheat has generally not advanced far enough for such temperatures to be a major concern.  In Montana, for example, 70% of the winter wheat had broken dormancy by April 14.  On the same date in Kansas, 52% of the winter wheat had jointed, with no heading of the crop reported.  

In the South, showers in the vicinity of a cold front stretch from the middle Ohio Valley to the Mississippi Delta.  Cooler air trails the showers, but warmth lingers from the western Gulf Coast region to the southern Atlantic Coast.  Friday’s high temperatures will approach or reach 90°F across the lower Southeast, including much of Florida.  In the wake of last week’s Southern downpours, patchy lowland flooding is gradually subsiding, although spotty fieldwork delays persist.

In the West, a mostly dry weather pattern is in place, although lingering chilly conditions across the northern half of the region contrast with warmth from California into the Southwest.  In Arizona, where one-quarter of the cotton had been planted by April 14, Friday’s high temperatures will top 90°F in many desert locations.

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