Pleasant early-March weekend weather

Pleasant early-March weekend weather

Across the Corn Belt, recent locally heavy rain from Illinois eastward aggravated lowland flooding. Many larger rivers are also experiencing significant flooding. The Ohio River crest is in the vicinity of Evansville, Indiana, where the river is nearly 4.9 feet above flood stage and at its highest level since March 1997.

On the Plains, largely dry weather prevails. Snow remains on the ground in nearly all of Montana and the Dakotas, but extreme drought persists across portions of the southern Plains; currently covers almost one-third (33%) of Oklahoma; 11% of Texas; and nearly 10% of Kansas, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.

In the South, locally heavy rain is falling from eastern Texas into the Tennessee Valley. Many locations within that area—including Jackson, Tennessee (14.54 inches); Little Rock, Arkansas (14.04 inches); and Tupelo, Mississippi (12.98 inches)—just completed their wettest February on record.

In the West, a significant, late-winter storm is moving ashore in California and the Pacific Northwest. The storm is providing a much-needed boost in mountain snowpack and improving topsoil moisture in valley locations.

For the remainder of Friday, recent rainfall will continue to aggravate stream and river flooding in the central and eastern Corn Belt and the interior Southeast. Farther north, snow will fall across the eastern Great Lakes region and the Northeast, accompanied by strong winds. In fact, high winds could topple trees and result in power outages in portions of the Mid-Atlantic region. Meanwhile, one of the most impressive storms of the season will continue to affect the West into the weekend. Early next week, the storm will cross the nation’s midsection, potentially producing heavy snow across the northern Plains and upper Midwest. In contrast, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days 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 nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather in parts of the Southwest and Northeast. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation in the Pacific Coast States and the eastern one-half of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions across the Rockies and High Plains.

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