Spring-like temps, rain & high wind ahead

Spring-like temps, rain & high wind ahead

In the Corn Belt, dry weather accompanies a warming trend. However, rain showers are quickly approaching the southwestern Corn Belt. Snow remains on the ground in most areas along and northwest of a line from southeastern Nebraska to northern Lower Michigan. At daybreak Tuesday, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, reported a snow depth of 16 inches.

On the Plains, mild weather prevails in advance of an approaching storm system. Rain showers and a few thunderstorms have developed across the central and southern Plains. Any rain is especially beneficial in western Texas; statewide topsoil moisture on March 9 was rated 46% very short to short.

In the South, mild weather prevails. Rain showers are overspreading areas from the Mississippi Delta westward. Assessments continue in the wake of last week’s cold outbreak; in northern Florida, for example, some melons were reportedly damaged by the freezes.

In the West, cool, unsettled weather prevails. Significant precipitation is falling in several areas, including the Pacific Northwest, southern California, and portions of the Four Corners States. The ongoing pattern of cool, stormy weather is further reducing the coverage and intensity of long-term Western drought.

A rapidly intensifying storm system will emerge from the Southwest at mid-week and cross the central Plains and upper Midwest Wednesday and Thursday. Blizzard conditions will develop on Wednesday from northeastern Colorado into South Dakota, while a broader area from the central High Plains into the Red River Valley (of the North) will experience a significant, late-winter storm. Meanwhile, heavy rain may cause flooding from the central Plains into the upper Midwest, especially in areas where melting ice and snow will maximize runoff potential and could lead to ice jams. Farther south, high winds will rake southern sections of the Rockies and High Plains, while locally severe thunderstorms may sweep across the South. Toward week’s end, cool but much more tranquil weather will trail the powerful storm system.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures across the central and eastern U.S., while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in the West. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across most of the country should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in northern California and across Florida’s peninsula.

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