In the West, rain and snow showers linger across the northern Intermountain region. Cool, dry weather prevails elsewhere, except for mild conditions in the Pacific Northwest.

On the Plains, wet weather has returned to Montana and the Dakotas, where crop development and planting operations have been significantly delayed by cool, damp conditions. Meanwhile on the southern Plains, showers and thunderstorms are providing some drought relief—although the rain is too late for much of the drought-ravaged winter wheat crop.

In the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are overspreading areas west of the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, sunny weather is finally returning to the eastern Corn Belt, where corn and soybean planting operations remain substantially behind schedule.

In the South, rain is still needed to prevent further drought intensification in the western Gulf Coast region and portions of the southern Atlantic States. The Mississippi River appears to have crested on May 19 in Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi, but water levels remain approximately 14 feet above flood stage.

Outlook: During the next 5 days, unsettled weather will persist across the nation’s mid-section. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches across the northern Plains and the Great Lakes region, while 2- to 5- inch totals can be expected from the southeastern Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley. However, precipitation will largely bypass the Southeast and the Southwest. The eastern half of the U.S. will experience a spell of warm weather, but chilly conditions will return to the Plains and Midwest during the first half of next week. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for May 25-29 calls for near- to below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in the Gulf and Atlantic Coast regions. Meanwhile, near- to above- normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across Florida’s peninsula and from southern California to the southern Plains.