Across the Corn Belt, cold weather is returning to the upper Midwest, but mild, breezy conditions continue to melt remaining snow elsewhere. Ice-jam flooding remains a threat in a few Midwestern river basins.
On the Plains, unusually warm, dry conditions are maintaining stress on livestock and winter wheat from Nebraska to Texas. In sharp contrast, bitterly cold conditions are returning to Montana and the Dakotas.
In the South, warm, dry weather favors fieldwork and early-season growth of pastures and winter grains. However, long-term drought remains entrenched in many key agricultural regions, including the lower Mississippi Valley and the southern Atlantic States.
In the West, a band of precipitation stretches from central California to the northern Rockies, slowing spring fieldwork but boosting high-elevation snow packs. Cooler air is overspreading the region.
Cold air will gradually engulf the nation, starting with the West and the North. By early next week, lingering warmth will be mostly confined to the Southeast.
Meanwhile, unsettled, showery weather will persist in much of the West, except for a weekend lull in the Pacific Coast States.
Farther east, high winds will sweep across the Midwest and Northeast during the next two days, followed by a wet spell.
Accumulating snowfall can be expected across the north-central and northeastern U.S. on February 20-21. Precipitation may develop from the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic States on February 21-22.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for near- to below-normal temperatures and near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. Unusually warm weather will be confined to the Southeast, while drier-than-normal conditions will be limited to southern Florida, the Pacific Northwest, and the south-central U.S.