Cool, Wet Weather Stalls Fieldwork

12:00PM Apr 29, 2014
Storm Clouds

A slow-moving chilly storm is creeping across the U.S. AgDay meteorologist Mike Hoffman says cold air is wrapping around this storm system, resulting in highs only reaching the 30s and 40s in the Dakotas and Great Plains.

Watch AgDay’s weather forecast for April 29: 

A low-pressure system centered near the Iowa-Missouri border will drift northeastward into the Great Lakes region by Thursday and into eastern Canada by week’s end, according to USDA’s agricultural weather highlights. Severe thunderstorms will remain a significant threat today in the Southeast, including already hard-hit areas of Mississippi and Alabama. The severe weather threat will shift eastward to the Atlantic Seaboard by May 1.

Meanwhile, additional rainfall totals could reach 3 to 6 inches in the middle and southern Atlantic States. In contrast, dry weather will prevail for the remainder of the week from the Pacific Coast to the southern Plains. An early-season heat wave will accompany the dry weather in the Pacific Coast States, with warmth expanding as far east as the central and southern High Plains during the weekend.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 4-8 calls for below-normal temperatures across the northern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail from the Great Basin into the lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the nation’s southern tier, including the southern High Plains and the southern Atlantic States.

Regional Weather Outlooks

In the West, dry weather prevails. Rising temperatures in the Pacific Coast States contrast with a lingering chill farther inland. In fact, freeze warnings are in effect early today in several areas, including parts of Utah, New Mexico, and western Colorado.

On the Plains, unusually cool, windy weather persists. Unfavorably dry weather prevails on the southern High Plains, while scattered rain and snow showers dot the central and northern Plains. Snow is most prevalent across the western Dakotas and northern Nebraska, where temperatures are hovering near the freezing mark.

In the Corn Belt, fieldwork remains at a virtual standstill due to cool, showery, breezy conditions. This morning’s temperatures are below 40°F in the upper Midwest, where significant rain is occurring. During the week ending April 27, producers were able to plant more than one-fifth of their intended corn acreage in Illinois (27%) and Missouri (21%). Nationally, a little more than one-eighth (13%) of the corn was planted last week.

In the South, following a second night of deadly tornadoes, severe thunderstorms persist. Currently, some of the strongest storms are rumbling across Georgia and western Florida. Meanwhile, dry weather has returned to the western Gulf Coast region, allowing some fieldwork to resume.

Related story: What Spring Weather Will Bring

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