Colder air builds southward into the Heartland
Across the Corn Belt, unusually cool, breezy conditions persist. March temperatures averaged more than 10° below normal in the far upper Midwest, including the Red River communities of Grand Forks (11.0° below normal) and Fargo, North Dakota (10.5° below normal). In addition, monthly temperatures averaged at least 8° below normal in portions of the upper Mississippi Valley, including Waterloo, Iowa (9.2° below normal).
On the Plains, warmth lingers across Texas, but below-normal temperatures are limiting winter wheat development across the remainder of the region. Monday’s low temperatures fell to near 0° in parts of North Dakota, where snow remains on the ground. In Grand Forks, North Dakota, the current snow depth is 7 inches.
In the South, showers and thunderstorms are starting to move offshore but linger across portions of the southern Atlantic States. In the wake of the departing storm system, cooler weather is returning to the South.
In the West, a few showers are occurring across northern California, southern Oregon, and the Intermountain region. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and crop growth in the Northwest and Southwest.
Unusually cool conditions will persist through mid-week in most areas east of the Rockies. During the second half of the week, warmth will return to the High Plains. Toward week’s end, markedly warmer air will arrive across the South, East, and lower Midwest.
A surge of moisture will accompany the warmer weather, with 5-day precipitation totals of 1 to 3 inches possible from the southern Plains to the southern Atlantic States. Meanwhile, only light precipitation will fall across the northern and central Plains and the Midwest.
Elsewhere, showers in the Northwest will contrast with dry weather in the Southwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for above-normal temperatures and precipitation across the majority of the nation. Cooler-than-normal conditions will be limited to southern California, the Desert Southwest, and parts of North Dakota, while drier-than-normal weather will be confined to portions of the Rio Grande Valley and the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States.