An active, moisture-laden pattern for the Corn Belt

An active, moisture-laden pattern for the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, mild weather and rain showers are resulting in rapidly melting snow. The current snow depth of 5 inches in Rockford, Illinois, is down from 14 inches on Sunday. In addition, dense fog has developed in parts of the central Corn Belt. Elsewhere, cold, breezy weather is returning to the far upper Midwest.

On the Plains, the latest surge of cold air has reached Montana and the Dakotas, accompanied by gusty winds, snow showers, and blowing snow—all of which are resulting in some travel disruptions. In stark contrast, warm, dry, breezy weather prevails across the drought-stricken southern half of the Plains, where an elevated risk of wildfires exists.

In the South, unusually warm weather prevails. Thursday’s high temperatures could reach or exceed 80° as far north as the Ozark Plateau. Rain showers are grazing the northern tier of the region, including parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, but dry weather in most areas is allowing soggy fields to begin drying out.

In the West, showers are providing scattered but highly beneficial moisture across the Four Corners States. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the region, except for some snow showers in the northern Rockies.

A newly established weather pattern should lead to increasingly colder conditions across the West and spring-like warmth in the South and East. With a sharp temperature gradient in place, an active weather pattern will unfold across several regions. For example, 5-day precipitation totals could reach 1 to 3 inches from the mid-South into the northern Mid-Atlantic States. Although much of the precipitation will fall as rain, some weekend snow may occur in the Northeast. Farther west, significant, late-week snow can be expected across the northern High Plains and the Northwest. Snow may spread into the upper Midwest by early next week. Elsewhere, mostly dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days in central and southern California and portions of the central and southern Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across the western and north-central U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the South, East, and lower Midwest. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in much of Florida; the southern Rockies; the southern Great Basin; and central and southern California.

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