More cold & more snow...

On the Plains, a significant snow storm is underway across central portions of the region, including Kansas and eastern Colorado. The snow is providing winter wheat with much-needed moisture and insulation in advance of another Arctic blast. Tuesday morning’s temperatures fell below -20 degrees in parts of the Dakotas and eastern Montana.

Across the Corn Belt, a return to cold weather is accompanied by snow showers downwind of the Great Lakes.  In the upper Midwest, a substantial snow cover and bitterly cold conditions (temperatures as low as -30 degrees) are bringing renewed stress on livestock.

In the South, cool, dry weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm. In Florida, nearly two-thirds (65%) of the pastures—stressed by drought and earlier freezes—were rated in very poor to poor condition on February 6, in spite of slight improvement during the recent spell of warm, showery weather.

In the West, cold air is edging westward across the Rockies, although mild, dry weather continues in the Pacific Coast States. Reported impacts from last week’s freeze in the Desert Southwest include possible damage to budding lemon trees and a slowing of the lettuce harvest.

For the remainder of Tuesday and Wednesday, a snow storm will unfold from central and southern portions of the Rockies and Plains into the Mid-South.  By mid-week, the storm will begin to weaken before reaching the southern Atlantic Coast.  Very cold air will expand to cover much of the U.S. in the storm’s wake. On February 9-10, sub-zero temperatures can be expected along and north of a line from northern Texas to the Ohio Valley.  During the weekend, however, milder-than-normal weather will return to the western half of the U.S.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures and near- to below-normal precipitation virtually nationwide. Colder- and wetter-than-normal conditions will be confined to areas along and near the Pacific Coast. 

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