USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says in the Corn Belt, thundershowers are halting fieldwork in the upper Midwest. "However, much of the remainder of the Corn Belt continues to experience a window of opportunity for corn and early-season soybean planting," USDA continues. Through May 12, U.S. corn planting—28% complete —was proceeding at the slowest pace since 1993, according to USDA.
In the West, USDA says cool air is expanding eastward, although warmth lingers across the central and southern Rockies. "Across the northern half of the region, scattered showers are boosting t opsoil moisture but causing minor fieldwork delays," USDA reports.
On the Plains, USDA says a cold front crossing Montana marks the leading edge of cooler air. Isolated showers precede and accompany the cooler conditions, USDA adds. "In contrast, hot, mostly dry weather prevails on the central and southern High Plains, maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat," USDA continues. Today’s high temperatures will exceed 100°F across parts of the southern High Plains, according to USDA.
In the South, USDA says showers and thunderstorms are slowing or halting fieldwork in the northern Mississippi Delta and the Tennessee Valley. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors winter wheat maturation and summer crop planting, emergence, and development," USDA continues.
In its outlook USDA says a pair of storms — one crossing the Southeast and the other developing over the Northwest — will maintain unsettled conditions for much of the U.S. "The Southeastern storm will reach the southern Mid-Atlantic Coast during the weekend, resulting in 1- to 3-inch rainfall totals along its path," USDA continues. The Northwestern system will drift into the upper Midwest by early next week, producing as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain in the north-central U.S., USDA continues. "In contrast, no rain will fall from California to the southern High Plains," USDA reports. Hot weather currently affecting the High Plains will arrive in the Midwest during the weekend and the Northeast by early next week, USDA explains. "Meanwhile, cooler air will spread as far east as the Plains and upper Midwest," USDA continues.