Roller-coaster ride of weather, temps to continue

Roller-coaster ride of weather, temps to continue

Across the Corn Belt, cold, blustery weather trails Thursday’s snow storm across the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, rain is changing to snow as colder air arrives across the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region.

On the Plains, frigid weather has returned to northern areas, although winds are starting to diminish. Friday morning’s low temperatures dipped below 0° as far south as eastern Nebraska and fell to near -30° in parts of North Dakota and northeastern Montana. During a 3-week period of volatile, often cold weather on the northern Plains, livestock have experienced some stress but winter wheat has been largely protected by snow. Farther south, however, Friday marks the 91st consecutive day without measurable rain in Amarillo, Texas, which is representative of the lack of moisture that the southern High Plains’ wheat is experiencing.

In the South, lingering warmth accompanies scattered rain showers in the southern Atlantic States. Elsewhere, rain and snow showers are gradually ending across the northern Mississippi Delta, while sharply colder, windy weather is spreading across areas from the Mississippi Delta westward.

In the West, rain and snow showers are confined to the region’s northern tier. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather prevails. Warm, dry conditions continue to favor mudslide recovery efforts in southern California.

Another strong surge of cold air will continue to invade the nation’s mid-section, with below-normal temperatures returning to the eastern U.S. during the weekend. Rain, and rain changing to snow, will precede the blast of cold air. Storm-total rainfall could reach 1 to 3 inches from the Appalachians into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern States. Late in the weekend and early next week, a broad area of light snow and flurries will affect areas from the northern Plains into the Northeast. Meanwhile, mostly dry weather will accompany above-normal temperatures in the nation’s southwestern quadrant, including southern California and the southern High Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood near- to above-normal temperatures and precipitation nearly nationwide. Lingering cooler-than-normal conditions should be confined to the Southeast, while drier-than-normal weather can be expected in the middle and southern Atlantic States, as well as southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains.

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