Wide-ranging weather for the Heartland this weekend

Wide-ranging weather for the Heartland this weekend

Across the Corn Belt, light snow is falling across the Ohio Valley and environs, while cold, dry weather covers the remainder of the Midwest. In fact, the Corn Belt remains locked into a winter-like weather pattern, with snow depths ranging from 1 to 2 feet or more across much of the upper Midwest.

On the Plains, warm, breezy weather in Oklahoma and Texas contrasts with lingering cold farther north. Approximately the northern half of the Plains retains an extensive snow cover, which has provided overwintering wheat with abundant moisture and insulation.

In the South, generally light precipitation is falling from the northern Mississippi Delta to the southern Appalachians. The northern edge of the precipitation shield is a mix of rain, sleet, and snow. Meanwhile, fruit and specialty crop producers in the Deep South are assessing any adverse impacts from the March 4-6 freezes.

In the West, cold, unsettled weather prevails. Some of the heaviest snow has fallen across the Intermountain West, but a much broader area is receiving scattered rain and snow showers. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the average water equivalency of the Sierra Nevada snowpack has topped 40 inches—approximately 150 percent of the normal seasonal peak.

Warmth will continue to spread northeastward in advance of a storm system, reaching the middle and southern Atlantic States during the weekend. Meanwhile, below-normal temperatures will persist across most of the northern and western U.S. The weekend storm will cross the Great Plains on Saturday and reach the upper Great Lakes region by Sunday. Storm impacts may include snow in the upper Midwest; heavy rain in the eastern Corn Belt; and locally severe thunderstorms across the South. By early next week, a new storm system will arrive in the Southwest, resulting in more drought-easing precipitation. Much-needed precipitation should also overspread the southern High Plains.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures from the Pacific Coast to the Plains, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail across the eastern one-third of the U.S. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation across California and the Northwest should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions across the remainder of the country, though a pocket of potential dryness has also been introduced over central Texas.

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