Moderating temperatures accompany an active pattern

Moderating temperatures accompany an active pattern

Across the Corn Belt, extremely cold weather persists. Tuesday morning’s Midwestern low temperatures generally ranged from -5 to 10°, with breezy conditions continuing. Snow covers nearly the entire region, with depths ranging from an inch or two in the Ohio Valley to more than a foot in the upper Midwest.

On the Plains, cold weather remains in place. Early Tuesday, temperatures fell to 0° or below as far south as western Kansas and eastern Colorado. On the northern and central Plains, a variable snow cover is insulating winter wheat. Meanwhile, developing drought on the southern High Plains continues to stress some rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. On March 3, nearly one-quarter (24%) of Texas’ wheat was rated very poor to poor.

In the South, Freeze Warnings are in effect early Tuesday in the western and central Gulf Coast States, excluding Deep South Texas and southeastern Louisiana. Some blooming fruits and recently emerged, spring-sown crops are vulnerable to sub-freezing temperatures, in part due to the protracted period of warmth that preceded this cold snap. In Texas, 10% of the state’s intended sorghum acreage had been planted by March 3.

In the West, a new Pacific storm is delivering rain to central coastal California. Parts of northern California are bracing for the potential of renewed flooding, as well as mountain snow, as precipitation moves farther inland. Cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the region, except for lingering warmth in the Southwest.

A storm system currently arriving in California will produce heavy precipitation through mid-week in much of the West. Meanwhile, freezes will remain a threat in the Southeast (except Florida’s peninsula) through Wednesday morning, followed by a rapid warming trend. Excluding the Deep South, most of the country will continue to experience below-normal temperatures through Friday. Late in the week, however, warmth will briefly surge northward across the eastern U.S. in advance of an approaching storm system. That storm could lead to widespread weekend weather impacts in the central and eastern U.S., including upper Midwestern snow, strong to severe Southern thunderstorms, and the potential for at least 1 to 3 inches of rain across the mid-South and lower Midwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across much of the western and central U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail along and east of a line from Texas to Michigan. Meanwhile, above-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in northern California and the Northwest.

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