Mid-Winter weather pattern to dominate the Midwest

Mid-Winter weather pattern to dominate the Midwest

Across the Corn Belt, cold air remains in place. Across the upper Midwest, many February and all-time monthly snowfall records were broken. In Wisconsin, for example, the snowiest month on record occurred in locations such as Eau Claire (53.7 inches) and Wausau (54.3 inches). Currently, a new round of light snow is overspreading the far upper Midwest.

On the Plains, snow showers accompany a new surge of bitterly cold air into Montana. Across roughly the northwestern half of the region, a substantial snow cover continues to insulate winter wheat. Meanwhile, warmth temporarily prevails on the southern High Plains, further reducing topsoil moisture. During the first 2 months of 2019, precipitation in Lubbock, Texas, totaled 0.04 inch (3 percent of normal).

In the South, widespread showers are maintaining soggy field conditions. Enough cold air is in place to result in wet snow in portions of the southern Mid-Atlantic region. Elsewhere, lowland flooding continues in the lower Mississippi Valley and environs, as water drains from creeks and streams into larger rivers.

In the West, mostly tranquil weather prevails between storms. However, cold weather persists in the northern half of the region, accompanied by a few snow showers. In contrast, warmth has returned across the Southwest. Following a spate of February storms, most Western basins feature near- or above-average snowpack.

During the next couple of days, separate disturbances will produce some snow across the North and a mixture of rain and wintry precipitation in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile, a more powerful storm system will arrive in California on Saturday and race eastward, reaching the Mid-Atlantic Coast by Monday morning. The fast-moving storm will produce a broad shield of precipitation along and near its path, including significant snow from the Sierra Nevada to the central Rockies, and from the central Plains into the Ohio Valley and Northeast. Five-day Southeastern rainfall totals could reach 1 to 4 inches. During the same period, very cold air will engulf nearly the entire country, with freezes possible early next week into the Deep South, excluding Florida’s peninsula.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of colder- and wetter- (snowier)-than-normal weather nearly nationwide, including much of the Midwest. Near- or above-normal temperatures will be limited to the Rio Grande Valley and parts of the Southwest, while near- or below-normal precipitation should be confined to the Deep South and the nation’s northern tier.

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