Today's Weather:    Cool air to move southeastward

In the West, cool conditions prevail, except for the return of warmth across much of California and the Desert Southwest.  Precipitation (rain and snow) is limited to the central Rockies and environs. Recent precipitation provided a local boost in  Western topsoil moisture, although serious underlying drought persists. According to the April 27 U.S. Drought Monitor,  extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4) covers 43% of the 11-state Western region.

On the Plains, warmth is confined to eastern Oklahoma and parts of Texas. Meanwhile, cool, breezy, mostly dry weather covers the northern and central Plains. Punishing early-season drought continues to grip portions of the northern Plains, stressing winter wheat and hampering the emergence and establishment of spring-sown small grains. On April 27, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicated that 83% of North Dakota was experiencing extreme drought (D3).
In the Corn Belt, warmth lingers across the southern tier of the region, including the middle Mississippi Valley. Farther north, however, today’s high temperatures will remain below 60°F across parts of the upper Midwest. In addition, scattered showers are slowing Midwestern fieldwork, including corn and soybean planting operations.

In the South, rain has ended across the western Gulf Coast region, although pockets of lowland flooding persist. For example, the San Bernard River near Boling, Texas, crested on Sunday 15.7 feet above flood stage—but 10.1 feet below the high-water mark set in the August 2017 aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Meanwhile, warm, showery weather has shifted across the interior Southeast, where rain is causing minor fieldwork delays.

Outlook:   As the week progresses, cool air will make a substantial southeastward push across the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. Scattered to widespread frost may occur during the mid- to late-week period from the northern Plains into the Great Lakes region. Meanwhile, warmth should linger or soon return across the Deep South. Precipitation, which could total 1 to 3 inches during the next 5 days across the mid-South, lower Midwest, and Southeast, will be focused by a series of disturbances crossing the country. Locally severe thunderstorms, bearing high winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes, could accompany some of the rainfall. In contrast, little or no rain will fall during the next 5 days from California to the Rio Grande Valley, while only light showers will dampen the parched northern Plains.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 8 – 12 calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures and near- or above-normal precipitation across most of the country. Warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to Florida and the south-central U.S., while drier-than-normal conditions should be limited to northern California, the lower Southeast, and southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains.

Contact: Brad Rippey, Agricultural Meteorologist, USDA/OCE/WAOB, Washington, D.C. (202-720-2397) Web Site:

See Also
Drought Monitor
Today's Weather
Short Range Weather Forecast
Weather Channel
International Weather
U.S. Cattle Report
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