More moisture, chilly days to come for the Corn Belt

More moisture, chilly days to come for the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, cool, cloudy weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm system. Rain showers linger in the Ohio Valley, where rivers are again running high and some lowland flooding is occurring. Meanwhile, some light snow is falling across the far upper Midwest, including parts of Minnesota.

On the Plains, frigid, breezy weather prevails across Montana and North Dakota in advance of a storm system approaching from the Canadian Prairies. Meanwhile, dry weather has returned to drought-affected areas of the central and southern High Plains, following some disappointingly light rain showers. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, exceptional drought covers 15% of Oklahoma, 4% of Kansas, and 1% of Texas.

In the South, rain showers are affecting the southern Atlantic States, where warmth lingers. Cooler, drier air is overspreading the remainder of the region. However, lowland flooding persists in several areas, particularly across eastern Texas and parts of Louisiana, following recent downpours. Prior to the rain, on March 25, more than one-third of the intended rice acreage had been planted in Texas (46%) and Louisiana (38%).

In the West, warm, dry weather prevails, following a nearly 6-week period of cool, unsettled conditions that improved runoff and water-supply prospects in several areas, including the Sierra Nevada.

During the next 5 days, a series of fast-moving disturbances will produce periods of light precipitation in several areas, including some late-season snow across the northern U.S. By Friday night, near-blizzard conditions may briefly engulf areas from North Dakota into the upper Great Lakes region. Five-day precipitation totals could exceed an inch in the mid-South, Midwest, and parts of the Northeast, but dry weather will prevail from California to the southern High Plains. Meanwhile, generally light precipitation will occur in the Southeast and Northwest. Elsewhere, warmth in the West will contrast with persistently cold weather across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. Early next week, however, cooler air will arrive in the Northwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures from the northern Plains into the Northeast, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the West and the Deep South. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal weather across most of the country should contrast with below-normal precipitation across the southern High Plains and the upper Great Lakes region.

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