Hyper-active pattern continues across the Midwest

Hyper-active pattern continues across the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, cold, breezy weather prevails. Snow showers linger across the eastern Corn Belt, especially downwind of the Great Lakes. Minor to moderate flooding continues along numerous creeks and rivers in the central and eastern Corn Belt, and many low-lying winter wheat fields are saturated or have standing water.

On the Plains, bitterly cold, sub-zero temperatures persist across portions of Montana and the Dakotas, maintaining stress on livestock. In stark contrast, warm, breezy conditions have developed across the central and southern Plains, well in advance of an approaching storm system. Short-term dryness has developed across the southern High Plains, where an elevated to critical risk of wildfires exists Wednesday.

In the South, showers linger across Florida’s peninsula. Elsewhere, cooler, drier weather prevails, although lowland flooding continues in an area centered on the northern Mississippi Delta. Recent warmth has accelerated the development of Southeastern fruit crops, increasing vulnerability to potential spring freezes.

In the West, another major winter storm is approaching California. Significant precipitation, including high-elevation snow, has already overspread northern and central California, as well as the northern Rockies and northern Inter-mountain West. Prior to the arrival of this storm system, the average water content of the Sierra Nevada snow pack has reached 26 inches, very close to the normal accumulation for an entire winter.

A powerful Western storm will result in a variety of impacts, including heavy, high-elevation snow, strong winds, and—in southern California and the Desert Southwest—flash flooding. Five-day precipitation totals in the Sierra Nevada could reach 4 to 10 inches. Rainfall totals in coastal and southern California may exceed 4 inches. Meanwhile, three separate disturbances will produce periods of mostly light precipitation, including snowfall, during the next 5 days across the central and eastern U.S. Late-week snow could accumulate, for example, from the northern Plains into the middle Mississippi Valley. Elsewhere, warmth will prevail during the next several days across the Deep South, but the remainder of the country will experience cold weather, or the return of below-normal temperatures.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for colder-than-normal conditions nationwide, except for near- or above-normal temperatures in the Southeast. Meanwhile, drier-than-normal weather will be limited to northern California, with near- or above-normal precipitation covering the remainder of the country.

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