A wild ride of weather across the Heartland

A wild ride of weather across the Heartland

Across the Corn Belt, warmth lingers in the Ohio and middle Mississippi Valleys, although soils remain too wet in many areas to allow appreciable fieldwork. Below-normal temperatures cover the remainder of the Midwest, while a chilly rain is developing across the northern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, a sharp wind shift is creating dangerous conditions for firefighters in western Oklahoma and environs, where several large wildfires were ignited on Wednesday. Farther north, a major, late-season snow storm is underway across the northern High Plains. Blizzard warnings are in effect for the remainder of Friday across large sections of South Dakota and Nebraska, as well as parts of neighboring states.

In the South, warm weather favors spring fieldwork in areas where soils are dry enough to support heavy equipment. However, a few showers are developing west of the Mississippi Delta.

In the West, chilly weather prevails. Breezy conditions dominate the drought-stricken Southwest, while snow is blanketing portions of the central Rockies and Intermountain West. Precipitation is also falling in the Pacific Northwest.

A massive spring storm crossing the central Plains will drift northeastward, reaching eastern Canada by the middle of next week. The storm’s far-reaching impacts may include wind-driven snow and blizzard conditions across portions of the northern Plains and upper Midwest; the potential for a historic wildfire outbreak across the southern High Plains; and heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms in the nation’s southeastern quadrant. A sharp cold outbreak will trail the storm, with weekend freezes expected as far south as the southern Plains. Storm-total precipitation could reach 1 to 3 inches or more from the northern Plains into the Northeast, and in parts of the Southeast. Elsewhere, unsettled, showery weather will prevail in the Northwest, while dry conditions will persist in the Southwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of colder-than-normal conditions nationwide, except for near- to above-normal temperatures across the Deep South from Texas to the southern Atlantic Coast. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal weather in a few areas, including the lower Rio Grande Valley and portions of the middle and southern Atlantic States.


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