Rainy pattern continues into next week

Rainy pattern continues into next week

Across the Corn Belt, a significant, late-winter flood is underway. Major flooding is affecting more than a dozen river gauges in southwestern Michigan and northern sections of Illinois and Indiana, while minor to moderate flooding is broadly occurring in the central and eastern Corn Belt. Currently, rain is returning to the Ohio Valley, aggravating the flood situation, while widespread, generally light snow is blanketing the upper Midwest.

On the Plains, a return of dry weather follows a recent bout of wintry precipitation. Temperatures are rebounding across the southern Plains, but very cold conditions persist on the snow-covered northern High Plains. Recent precipitation benefited winter wheat across the southeastern Plains but mostly bypassed the drought-affected southern High Plains.

In the South, a band of locally heavy rain extends northeastward from south-central Texas. Flash flooding and minor to moderate river flooding is occurring in a broad area from eastern Texas to the northern Mississippi Delta. In contrast, mostly dry weather accompanies a continuation of record-setting warmth in the Southeast.

In the West, unusually cold conditions persist. However, beneficial snow showers accompany the below-normal temperatures in several areas, including the Intermountain West. Until recently, significant winter storms had consistently bypassed the West, except across Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and northern Idaho.

During the next few days, heavy rain will maintain an acute risk of flooding, or potentially worsen existing flooding, in the mid-South and lower Midwest. Five-day rainfall totals could total 2 to 5 inches from northeastern Texas into the Ohio Valley. As rainfall subsides late in the weekend, floodwaters will migrate from creeks and tributaries into main-stem rivers. Meanwhile, a snowstorm will unfold during the weekend from the central Plains into the upper Midwest. Farther west, snow will end across the Intermountain West but return to the Northwest. Elsewhere, little or no precipitation will fall across Florida’s peninsula and the southern High Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- to below-normal temperatures across the eastern half of the U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the northern High Plains and the West. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across Florida’s peninsula and from northern Minnesota to New England.

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