Deep, cold wave pattern covers much of the Nation
Across the Corn Belt, frigid, breezy conditions persist. Extreme cold blankets the upper Midwest, where Thursday morning’s temperatures ranged from 0 to -30°. In Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul marked its 46th day this cold season with sub-zero temperatures—the most in any winter since 1978-79.
On the Plains, cold weather prevails in most areas, although Thursday’s early-morning temperatures below 0° were generally limited to eastern Montana and the Dakotas. Dry conditions and weather extremes remain concerns with respect to winter wheat in some places, particularly on the southern High Plains. In addition, mild, breezy conditions are developing across the central and southern High Plains.
In the South, a few rain showers linger across Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, cold, dry weather prevails. Low temperatures fell below 20° as far south as northern portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
In the West, the first of two storms is producing beneficial showers in California and the Great Basin. The storm is not appreciably altering the bleak water-supply situation, but is dampening parched fields.
Precipitation in California will end later Thursday but return on Friday. Locally heavy showers will linger across California into the weekend. The remainder of the West will also receive precipitation; 5-day totals could reach 2 to 5 inches in coastal California and the Sierra Nevada and 1 to 3 inches in the Rockies and higher elevations of the Intermountain West. In early March, a late-winter storm will take aim on the central and eastern U.S. On March 2-3, snow, sleet, and freezing rain can be expected from the central and southern Plains into the Mid-Atlantic States, while showers and thunderstorms will sweep across the Deep South. Unusually cold weather will continue to dominate areas east of the Rockies, except for a brief period of pre-storm warmth from the southern Plains into the Southeast.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures from the Plains to the East Coast, except for warmer-than-normal weather in southern Florida. Warmth can also be expected west of the Rockies, excluding areas near the Canadian border. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation in the Pacific Northwest and the Atlantic Coast States will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in a broad area stretching from central and southern portions of the Rockies and Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley.