More rain ahead for the eastern, southern Corn Belt

More rain ahead for the eastern, southern Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, a substantial snow cover exists in the upper Midwest, where snow depths include 9 inches in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and 8 inches in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Meanwhile, mild, dry weather across the central and eastern Corn Belt is allowing water to drain from fields and streams into larger rivers. The highest Ohio River crest since 1997 has passed Louisville, Kentucky, and is approaching Evansville, Indiana.

On the Plains, cold weather prevails in Montana and the Dakotas, where an extensive snow cover continues to insulate winter wheat. Meanwhile, warm weather has returned to the central and southern High Plains, where rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat are suffering from a lack of moisture. On February 25, the portion of the wheat crop rated very poor to poor included 78% in Oklahoma, 73% in Texas, and 49% in Kansas.

In the South, a few showers are returning to the western Gulf Coast region. Elsewhere, mild, dry weather prevails, although extensive lowland flooding persists from eastern Texas into the mid-South.

In the West, widely scattered showers dot central and southern California and the Intermountain West. Cool conditions persist, with some scattered sub-zero temperatures noted early Tuesday across the interior Northwest.

During the next 2 days, heavy rain will re-develop across parts of the South, as well as the central and eastern Corn Belt. Storm-total rainfall through Thursday could reach 2 to 4 inches from northeastern Texas into the Tennessee Valley, and 1 to 2 inches across the eastern half of the Corn Belt. Additional flooding can be expected in areas already experiencing soil saturation. Meanwhile, mid- to late-week snow will fall from the northern Corn Belt into the Northeast. In contrast, dry weather will persist through week’s end on the central and southern High Plains. In the West, however, some of the most impressive storminess of the season will arrive at mid-week. Heavy, high-elevation snow will fall as far south as the Sierra Nevada.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures in the middle and southern Atlantic States, as well as the northwestern half of the Plains and the West. Near- to above-normal temperatures can be expected from the western and central Gulf Coast States into the Great Lakes region and the Northeast. Meanwhile, near- to below-normal precipitation in the eastern U.S. and most areas from the High Plains westward will contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in northern and central California and the Mississippi Valley and environs.

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