A late-season snow cover prevails across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevails. Much of the region remains covered by snow. Early Friday, snow depths include 13 inches in Rockford, Illinois; 11 inches in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and 4 inches in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

On the Plains, cold weather is confined to the northern tier of the region, where a deep snow cover exists. In North Dakota, Grand Forks has a current snow depth of 10 inches. Farther south, warm, breezy weather in advance of an approaching storm is bringing renewed stress to rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat on the central and southern High Plains.

In the south, cool conditions persist, especially in the southern Atlantic states. For the second morning in a Row, a Freeze Warning is in effect across parts of Georgia, while frost was noted as far south as northern Florida. Meanwhile, unfavorably dry conditions are maintaining heavy irrigation demands across Florida’s Peninsula during the citrus bloom period.

In the West, showers are developing across the intermountain west, southern California, and the southwest, accompanied by colder conditions. The precipitation is slowing fieldwork but providing limited drought relief.

A developing storm system over the southwestern U.S. will cross the central Plains on Saturday and reach the Great Lakes region by Sunday. Showers and thunderstorms along the storm’s trailing cold front could result in 1- to 2-inch rainfall totals, with locally higher amounts, along and east of a line from the central Corn Belt to south-central Texas. The cold front will sweep across the eastern U.S. early next week. Meanwhile, snow will blanket the mountains of the Southwest and an area stretching from the central Rockies to the upper Great Lakes region.

A brief surge of cold air will trail the storm, but temperatures will rebound to above-normal levels early next week across the western half of the nation.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures across the western half of the U.S., while colder-than-normal conditions will prevail in the east. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in roughly the southern half of the nation will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather across the nation’s northern tier.

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