All graphics courtesy of USDA, NOAA, Department of Commerce
Another wet week in much of the Midwest maintained a sluggish pace of fieldwork. Rainfall was heaviest in the southern Corn Belt, where totals of at least 1-2 in. continued to sharply limit corn planting. In addition, another late-season snowfall occurred from central portions of the Rockies and High Plains into the Upper Midwest.
Despite the continuation of unsettled weather, lowland flooding peaked and began to subside in parts of the Midwest – but persisted along the Illinois River and in the middle Mississippi Valley, and developed in the far Upper Midwest. In fact, late-week warmth melted virtually all of the remaining snow across the north-central U.S., substantially increasing runoff into the flood-prone Red River Valley.
Prior to the warm spell, cold weather dominated areas from the Plains to the East Coast. On April 23-24, the latest in a series of freezes struck the southern High Plains, further threatening an already drought-stressed winter wheat crop. For the nation as a whole, weekly temperatures ranged from more than 10° F below normal in parts of North Dakota to at least 10° F above normal at several locations in California.
Aside from the Midwest, significant precipitation was confined to the east-central Plains and parts of the South. In particular, weekly rainfall totaled 4 in. or more across portions of the interior Southeast, including central Tennessee. Rainfall exceeded 2 in. in parts of southeastern Texas, and topped an inch across southern Florida. In contrast, little or no precipitation occurred from the Pacific Coast to the southern High Plains. Warmth accompanied the dry weather in California and the Desert Southwest, promoting a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development.