Active, moisture-laden days ahead for the Midwest

Active, moisture-laden days ahead for the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, mild but foggy weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. The mild weather has melted some snow and has resulted in locally muddy conditions.

On the Plains, mild, dry, breezy weather is further eroding winter wheat’s protective snow cover from Montana to Nebraska. The snow depth in Billings, Montana, has decreased to 3 inches, down from 17 inches on New Year’s Eve. Meanwhile, mild, unfavorably dry conditions persist across the southern half of the Plains, maintaining stress on rangeland, pastures, and dormant winter wheat.

In the South, rain showers linger across Florida. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather follows Monday’s Southeastern rainfall. Rain is still needed in several areas, including the mid-South and the southern Atlantic coastal plain, to fully replenish soil moisture in the wake of a very dry autumn and early-winter period.

In the West, significant precipitation is falling in several areas, including southern California and the Pacific Northwest. Wildfire-affected areas in California are particularly vulnerable to mud and debris flows as heavy showers move ashore. Snow is confined to higher elevations from the Sierra Nevada to the northern Rockies.

Precipitation will continue to spread farther inland across the West, reaching the Rockies by mid-week. Meanwhile, heavy rain and high-elevation snow in California will gradually subside. Thereafter, precipitation will spread across the northern and central Plains and the Corn Belt, delivering significant snow on Thursday and Friday from Nebraska northward and across the Midwest. The snowy weather will benefit winter wheat but could stress livestock and cause travel disruptions. Late in the week, precipitation will return to the eastern U.S., with snow possible from the Ohio Valley to the interior Northeast. Five-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from the northern Mississippi Delta and the Tennessee Valley into the Northeast.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of above-normal temperatures from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains, while colder-than-normal conditions will prevail across the eastern half of the U.S. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Northwest, including northern California.

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