Chilly days to still dominate much of the Midwest
Across the Corn Belt, showers and thunderstorms are sweeping across the Ohio Valley. Meanwhile, a significant, late-season snow storm is affecting the lower Great Lakes States. Wednesday early-morning snow depths associated with the ongoing storm include 5 inches in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and 3 inches in Chicago, Illinois.
On the Plains, mild weather from Montana to Nebraska contrasts with cooler-than-normal conditions farther south. In other words, temperatures are fairly uniform across the High Plains, with Wednesday’s high temperatures expected to range from 50 to 60° in most locations. Precipitation is still needed on the southern Plains to boost topsoil moisture and ease stress on rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat.
In the South, cool, dry air is spreading across areas from the Mississippi Valley westward. Elsewhere, rain showers are crossing the Southeast, while a few thunderstorms are developing across Florida’s peninsula.
In the West, California’s wet season appears to have effectively ended, as warm, dry conditions have engulfed the Pacific Coast States. At the end of February, storage in California’s 154 intrastate reservoirs stood at just 65% of average, reflective of the drought that began in 2011-12.
For the remainder of Wednesday, a late-season storm will produce heavy snow from northern Indiana and southern Michigan into New York State. Overnight and on Thursday, heavy snow will spread into New England. High winds and falling temperatures will accompany the storm, resulting in widespread travel disruptions and possible power outages. Farther south, showers and locally severe thunderstorms will accompany the storm’s trailing cold front later Wednesday, especially in the Mid-Atlantic States. In the storm’s wake, relatively tranquil weather will prevail nearly nationwide for several days, with warmth becoming more pronounced from the Pacific Coast to the northern Plains. Cold weather across the Midwest and East will ease toward week’s end, only to be replaced by another round of below-normal temperatures early next week.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across California, the Intermountain West, and the Southwest. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across most of the country will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions along the Atlantic Seaboard.