The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has issued its extended weather forecasts and in its outlook for May through July it calls for above-normal temps across the bulk of the nation, including most of the Midwest and Plains. But most of the area west of the Rocky Mountains is expected to see below-normal precip, while the rest of the nation has an equal chance of below-, normal and above-normal precip.
The outlook for May calls for above-normal temps across the Central and Southern Plains, while below-normal temps are expected across North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Meanwhile, below-normal precip is expected in the Pacific Northwest and the entire eastern Corn Belt. Elsewhere, the forecast is equal chances of below-, normal and above-normal precip.
The CPC's Seasonal Drought Outlook is based primarily on the short-, medium- and long-term forecast models and current climatology. It notes that a repeat of last summer's "flash drought" across the Corn Belt is not expected at this time. "However, rapidly developing flash droughts are notoriously difficult to predict well in advance. Improvement is forecast across eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and northeast Texas, but prospects for drought improvement decrease farther southwest across the southern High Plains and south Texas. Some improvement is expected across the intense drought areas of the northern/central Plains, while improvement is more likely across the upper Mississippi Valley."
The video below shows evolution of drought conditions from November 2011-December 2012. Source: NOAA