USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility says on the Plains, beneficial rain showers are developing in parts of Montana. "Elsewhere, warm, dry conditions are increasing concerns about a lack of moisture for winter wheat and summer crops," USDA explains. During the two-week period ending May 20, USDA reports the portion of the Kansas wheat crop rated very poor to poor increased from 11% to 22%.
In the West, USDA says cool air and scattered showers continue to push inland across the Pacific Northwest and the northern Rockies. "Elsewhere, warm, dry weather is promoting fieldwork and crop development," according to USDA. Nearly half (45%) of California's rice was planted during the week ending May 20, USDA explains.
In the Corn Belt, USDA reports dry weather favors soybean planting and crop development, although pockets of unfavorable dryness exist.
In the South, USDA reports scattered showers are aiding pastures and summer crops. "However, dry weather has returned to the lower Mississippi Valley, where drought is developing," according to USDA. During the week ending May 20, USDA says the portion of pastures in Arkansas rated in very poor to poor condition increased from 11% to 23%. "Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Alberto — a very compact system — is currently centered more than 200 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and poses no threat to the U.S. mainland," USDA explains.
In its outlook, USDA says during the next five days, generally dry weather will prevail across the southern half of the U.S. from California to the lower Mississippi Valley. "Meanwhile, occasional showers will linger in the East, with the heaviest rain (1 to 2 inches) expected in the Mid-Atlantic states," USDA says. Farther west, USDA says a series of disturbances will maintain cool, showery, unsettled conditions from the Northwest to the upper Midwest. "Five-day rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches in the upper Midwest," USDA adds.