Much colder, far more active WInter pattern ahead

Much colder, far more active WInter pattern ahead

Across the Corn Belt, cold, cloudy weather prevails. Snow showers are occurring in some areas, especially in the eastern Corn Belt, while sub-zero temperatures were noted early Monday in parts of the upper Midwest. Mild weather in advance of the latest cold wave reduced or eliminated Midwestern snow cover; the snow depth in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, has dropped to 3 inches, down from 11 inches on January 23.

On the Plains, mild weather is returning to areas adjacent to the Rockies. Cool conditions persist, however, on the eastern Plains. Intensifying drought and temperature extremes continue to adversely affect dormant winter wheat across roughly the southern half of the Plains..

In the South, rain showers linger along the Atlantic Coast. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather favors off-season farm activities. Drought remains a concern in several areas, including the mid-South and the Atlantic coastal plain, although both regions have received recent rainfall.

In the West, the latest round of stormy weather is overspreading the Pacific Northwest. However, mild weather prevails throughout the West, limiting snow accumulation even where precipitation is occurring. The average water content of the high-elevation Sierra Nevada snowpack improved in recent days to around 5 inches—but remains less than one-third of the late-January normal.

Precipitation will end later Monday in the eastern U.S., except for some lingering snow in the Northeast. Meanwhile, Western warmth will surge eastward in advance of a Pacific storm system. As a result, temperatures on Tuesday will top 70° as far north as the central High Plains. Later, a new surge of cold air will engulf the Midwest and much of the East, followed by a secondary blast of frigid weather during the weekend. Rain and snow showers will precede and accompany each round of cold weather. Elsewhere, periods of precipitation will continue in the Pacific Northwest, where 5-day totals could reach 2 to 4 inches. Dry weather will prevail, however, from California to the southern half of the Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures and 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 Pacific Coast States, the Great Basin, and portions of the southern Plains and the Southwest.

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