Impacts of Drought felt on the southern Plains

Across the Corn Belt, mild, dry conditions prevail across the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, light snow is falling across much of the eastern Corn Belt, with some rain mixed in across the Ohio Valley.

On the Plains, isolated snow showers are confined to the northern tier of the region. Elsewhere, generally mild, dry weather has returned in the wake of recent, beneficial precipitation. However, more precipitation is still needed in Texas, where many stock ponds remain low or empty. In addition, 64% of the Texas pastures and rangeland were rated in very poor to poor condition on February 12, along with 40% of the winter wheat.

In the South, warm, dry weather has returned to the western Gulf Coast region. Meanwhile, beneficial rain showers are providing limited drought relief in the southern Atlantic region, although Florida’s peninsula remains dry. Wildfires are an increasing threat across central and southern Florida.

In the West, cool weather prevails. Scattered rain and snow showers are mostly limited to the Southwest, although precipitation is approaching the northern Pacific Coast. According to USDA, more than half (52%) of Arizona’s rangeland was rated in very poor to poor condition on February 12, while most of California’s non-irrigated rangeland was in poor condition.

A series of fast-moving storms will produce generally light precipitation across much of the U.S. Tuesday’s light rain and snow in the East will be replaced by a more impressive precipitation shield on Wednesday, when 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals will occur across the interior Southeast. Light snow will overspread parts of the Midwest and Northeast on February 15-16. Toward week’s end, a new storm will produce additional rain across the nation’s southern tier, with heavy amounts possible along the Gulf Coast.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while colder-than-normal weather will prevail from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in western Washington and from the central Gulf Coast into the lower Great Lakes region.

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