On the Plains, moderate to severe drought persists from western Nebraska into central Oklahoma. In addition, large temperature swings are increasing stress on poorly established winter grains.
A disturbance will shift southeastward Thursday morning bringing with it a wintry range of precipitation. Snow totals of 2 to 3 inches can be expected along and north of Interstate 74, with locally higher amounts. Farther south, ice accumulations of less than a quarter of an inch can be expected; certainly enough to affect the drive into work or school.
On the Plains, chilly conditions linger across eastern areas. In contrast, mild, breezy weather is developing on the High Plains. On the central and southern Plains, the poorly established portion of the winter wheat crop continues to be subjected to unfavorably dry weather and sharp temperature fluctuations.
Across the Corn Belt, widespread snow showers continue downwind of the Great Lakes. Most of the northern and eastern Corn Belt has a shallow snow cover, except for greater depths in climatologically favored areas.
Across the Corn Belt, a band of snow extends from the Dakotas into Iowa. Meanwhile in the Ohio Valley, cold, mostly dry weather prevails in the wake of drought-easing or -eradicating rainfall.