Intense Weekend Storm, Colder Air Follows

Intense Weekend Storm, Colder Air Follows

Across the Corn Belt, dry weather prevails in the wake of a departing storm. Sub-zero temperatures occurred early Thursday in parts of the western Corn Belt, where a deep snow cover is in place. Current snow depths include 16 inches in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and 9 inches in Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska.

On the Plains, cold, dry weather prevails, except for patches of light snow in Montana and North Dakota. Thursday morning’s temperatures fell below 0° in many locations from Nebraska northward, though an expansive snow cover is helping to insulate winter wheat. Meanwhile, short-term dryness has become a concern on the southern High Plains, where 28% of Texas’ winter wheat was rated very poor to poor on February 17.

In the South, a band of rain stretches from eastern Texas to the Carolinas. The mid-South, including the Tennessee Valley—already wet from previous storms—faces the risk of additional flooding as rainfall intensifies later Thursday. Meanwhile, warmth across the lower Southeast is hastening the development of blueberries, citrus, and other fruit crops.

In the West, below-normal temperatures persist, while a developing storm system is producing scattered rain and snow showers in southern California, the Great Basin, and the Four Corners States. •

Another impressive storm, similar to the previous system, will cross the Southwest Thursday and Friday, reach the central Plains on Saturday, and intensify across the upper Great Lakes region by Sunday. Significant snow will fall in several areas, including the Southwest, the central Plains, and the upper Midwest, while blowing and drifting snow could result in livestock stress and travel disruptions. Farther east, storm-total rainfall of 2 to 5 inches across the interior Southeast could result in widespread flooding. During the weekend, a Pacific storm will arrive in the Northwest, delivering a new round of rain and snow. Meanwhile, cold air will remain entrenched across the West during the next several days, while another Arctic blast will reach the northern Plains on Saturday and expand to cover the upper Midwest early next week.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures nationwide, except for warmer-than-normal weather across the lower Southeast. Meanwhile, near- or above-normal precipitation across most of the U.S. should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions from southern California to the southern Plains and parts of the mid-South.

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