Moderating temperatures across the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, temperatures continue to slowly rebound, but remain at mostly near- to below-normal levels. In addition, breezy conditions have finally subsided. A few rain showers are developing across the southern fringe of the Midwest, mainly in parts of Missouri.

On the Plains, mostly dry weather accompanied a warming trend. A few rain showers dot the southeastern Plains. Warmth is especially notable on the High Plains, where Friday's highs could approach 70° as far north as western Nebraska. Wheat producers on the southern Plains continue to observe their crop for any indications of freeze damage.

In the South, a variety of Freeze Warnings and Frost Advisories were in effect Friday morning from the southern Appalachians to the coastal Carolinas. In most cases, however, Southern temperatures are not as low as those observed earlier this week. Nevertheless, producers continue to monitor fruits, winter grains, and emerged summer crops for signs of freeze injury. Meanwhile, a few showers are developing across the Mid-South.

In the West, above-normal temperatures are prematurely melting mountain snow packs but promoting fieldwork and crop development. Isolated rain and snow showers are mainly confined to the northern half of the region.

Highlights during the next few days will include locally heavy rain across the South and East, and a new surge of cold air across the Plains and Midwest. Five-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from the Mid-South into the southern Mid-Atlantic States.

During the weekend, a Pacific storm could result in more than an inch of precipitation in parts of northern California. In contrast, dry weather will persist into next week in the Southwest.

On March 31 and April 1, colder air will engulf the Plains and Midwest. Precipitation, including some snow, will precede and accompany the cold snap. Elsewhere, warmth will continue into next week west of the Rockies.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures from the eastern Plains to the Atlantic Seaboard, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, near- to above normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the southern Rockies and from the Ohio Valley into the lower Great Lakes region.

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