Across the Corn Belt, cool weather has returned to the Great Lakes region, where frost and freeze advisories were in effect Thursday morning. Freezes were mostly confined to Wisconsin and Michigan, where late-March freezes are common. However, the cool weather follows an extended period of record-setting warmth. Elsewhere, showers and thunderstorms are affecting portions of the middle Mississippi and lower Missouri Valleys.
On the Plains, breezy weather accompanies record-setting warmth. Thursday’s high temperatures will approach 90° on the southern High Plains, where lingering drought impacts continue to adversely affect rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. On March 25, nearly one-third (30%) of the Texas winter wheat crop was rated in very poor to poor condition.
In the South, scattered showers are confined to the western Gulf Coast region. Elsewhere, very warm, dry weather continues to promote a rapid pace of fieldwork and crop development, although drought remains a concern with respect to pastures, winter grains, and emerging summer crops across the lower Southeast.
In the West, cool weather is limited to the Pacific Northwest, the northern Rockies, and areas along the California coast. Precipitation is falling across the Pacific Northwest, but dry weather prevails elsewhere.
During the second half of the week, a fast-moving disturbance will generate scattered showers across the central and eastern U.S. Rainfall could exceed an inch in the Great Lakes region and the central Gulf Coast States.
Meanwhile, a series of storms will maintain stormy conditions in the Pacific Northwest, where 5-day precipitation totals could reach 5 to 10 inches.
Elsewhere, generally dry weather will prevail into early next week across southern Florida and from California to the High Plains.
A warm weather pattern will continue to dominate the U.S., except for another surge of cool air across the Great Lakes and Northeastern States, and a turn toward cooler conditions in the West.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in the Pacific Northwest and the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in the Northwest.