Wet, windy, unsettled weather in the eastern Corn Belt; warm environs expand on the Plains

Across the Corn Belt, rain showers and gusty winds linger east of the Mississippi River, where fieldwork remains at a standstill.  In contrast, mild, dry weather favors fieldwork, including early-season corn planting efforts, in the western Corn Belt.  On April 7, Missouri led the Midwest with 7% of its intended corn acreage planted, versus 3% on average.

On the Plains, warm, dry weather is nearly ideal for planting activities, pasture growth, and winter wheat development, although patchy drought remains a concern.  According to statistics derived from the April 9 U.S. Drought Monitor, drought covers 18% of the nation’s winter wheat production area, up from 12% less than a month ago.  Later Friday, maximum temperatures will reach or exceed 80°F as far north as the central High Plains.

In the South, any lingering showers are limited to the middle Atlantic States, including Virginia.  Elsewhere, dry, breezy weather favors a limited return to fieldwork, following recent downpours.  A few areas, mainly across the Deep South, are still cleaning up from the April 9-11 severe weather outbreak, which produced localized wind damage and large hail.  In addition, pockets of lowland flooding persist from eastern Texas to the Mississippi Delta.

In the West, an offshore storm system is producing a few rain and snow showers in the Pacific Northwest.  Across the remainder of the western U.S., warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop development.  Warmth is also initiating seasonal melting of high-elevation snowpack, especially in the Southwest.

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