A more typical mid-Winter pattern ahead

A more typical mid-Winter pattern ahead

Across the Corn Belt, a few snow showers are occurring in the Great Lakes region. Cloudy but dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest, accompanied by above-normal temperatures and breezy conditions. Snow cover has largely disappeared from the central and eastern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, colder air is starting to arrive in Montana and North Dakota. Elsewhere, mild, dry, breezy weather prevails. Among reporting states, drought-stricken Oklahoma leads the nation with topsoil moisture rated 93% very short to short, followed by Kansas (79%).

In the South, cool weather lingers in the Atlantic Coast States. Freezes were noted early Wednesday as far south as northern Florida, north of the citrus belt. Farther west, however, warm air is overspreading the mid-South and the western Gulf Coast region, favoring off-season farm activities.

In the West, a few rain and snow showers persist from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the region, including California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest. With approximately one-half of the Western winter wet season complete, spring and summer runoff prospects are significantly below normal expectations along and southwest of a line from Oregon to Colorado.

No major storm systems are expected during the next few days, although periods of precipitation will affect the East and Northwest. Five-day precipitation totals may exceed an inch in parts of the Southeast, and could range from 2 to 4 inches in portions of the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest. In contrast, negligible precipitation will occur through week’s end from California to the southern Plains. Mild weather will continue throughout the West, but two strong surges of cold air will affect areas from the Plains to the East Coast. The first push of cold air will engulf much of the Plains and Midwest by Thursday, while the second cold blast will arrive across the same areas during the weekend.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- to below-normal temperatures and near- to above-normal precipitation in most areas east of the Rockies. Warmer-than-normal weather will be limited to the West and the lower Southeast, while drier-than-normal conditions should be confined to the southern Plains and the Far West.

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