Cool, unsettled pattern to prevail across the Midwest

Cool, unsettled pattern to prevail across the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, snow is occurring in many areas west of the Mississippi River, while precipitation—mostly cold rain—is falling in the middle Ohio Valley. Chilly, breezy weather prevails throughout the Midwest.

On the Plains, cool, dry weather prevails, except for patchy snow across northern areas. In Kansas, where beneficial precipitation fell early this week, winter wheat was rated 55% very poor to poor on March 18. On the same date, more than half of the wheat was also rated very poor to poor in Oklahoma (66%) and Texas (60%).

In the South, violent thunderstorms struck late Monday from northeastern Mississippi into parts of Georgia; recovery efforts are underway in areas affected by high winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes. Currently, the threat for severe weather has shifted to the southern Atlantic region. Meanwhile, spring fieldwork has been delayed in some of the region’s wettest areas; in Louisiana, 8% of the intended corn acreage had been planted by March 18, compared to 31% at the same time a year ago.

In the West, a moisture-laden storm is bearing down on California, where a few rain showers have begun to overspread coastal areas. Elsewhere, dry weather accompanies a gradual warming trend.

A developing storm near the Mid-Atlantic Coast will result in a late-season snowstorm for Tuesday night and Wednesday from the central Appalachians into New England. Meanwhile, a long-duration precipitation event will strike California, starting Tuesday and continuing through Thursday. Storm-total precipitation could reach 4 to 8 inches or more in the coastal ranges of southern California and in the Sierra Nevada, with heavy snow expected in the latter region. Recently burned hillsides in southern California will be especially susceptible to mudslides and debris flows. Elsewhere, dry weather will prevail through week’s end in the south-central U.S., while a late-week storm will produce rain and snow from the northern Plains into the Ohio Valley. Several days of hot weather, with temperatures reaching or exceeding 90°, will accompany the dry conditions on the southern Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- to below-normal temperatures throughout the northern and western U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail from the southern Plains to the southern Atlantic Coast. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across Florida’s peninsula, the Pacific Coast States, and much of New England.

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