Late-season cold wave pattern ahead

Late-season cold wave pattern ahead

Across the Corn Belt, cold conditions persist. Wednesday morning’s low temperatures generally ranged from -10 to 10° in the western Corn Belt, where a deep snow cover remains in place. Currently, fresh snow is blanketing portions of the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Michigan.

On the Plains, lingering warmth is limited to southern Texas. Cold, dry weather covers the remainder of the region, except for a few patches of wintry precipitation primarily in Montana, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Except on the southern High Plains, where drought is developing, most of the wheat crop continues to overwinter in good shape.

In the South, thunderstorms are grazing portions of the Gulf Coast, including Florida’s panhandle. Scattered showers are also occurring in the southern Appalachians and portions of the Carolinas. Warmth continues to favor a rapid crop development pace, leaving some fruit and spring-sown crops vulnerable to a potential freeze.

In the West, a powerful, late-winter storm continues to produce widespread precipitation from northern and central California to the northern Rockies. In northern California, where additional debris flows remain a threat, flooding has developed along several rivers. Below-normal temperatures throughout the West are helping to maximize mountain snow accumulations.

The storm system currently affecting the West will lose some organization while traversing the central and eastern U.S. Nevertheless, 5-day rainfall totals could reach 1 to 3 inches in the Southeast, while periods of generally light snow will affect portions of the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast. During the weekend and early next week, a strong surge of cold air will engulf the Plains and Midwest, with sub-zero temperatures expected as far south as northern sections of Kansas and Missouri. In addition, sub-freezing temperatures could reach into the Deep South. Farther west, a new storm system should arrive in California during the weekend, with wintry precipitation rapidly spreading eastward across portions of the southern U.S. by early next week.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook for the likelihood of colder-than-normal conditions nationwide, except for near or above-normal temperatures in Florida and the Desert Southwest. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal across the Deep South and from California to the central High Plains should contrast with below-normal precipitation in most other areas, including the Ohio Valley, Midwest, and Northeast.

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