Across the Corn Belt, cold, mostly dry weather prevails. A few snow showers dot the central Corn Belt, while lowland flooding persists across portions of the western Corn Belt.
On the Plains, some light but highly beneficial precipitation is falling across central and southern areas, where drought continues to adversely affect pastures and winter grains. On March 27, the portion of the winter wheat crop in very poor to poor condition ranged from 3% in Montana to 62% in Texas.
In the South, precipitation is confined to the Ozark Plateau, where some light rain is falling. Elsewhere,cool but dry weather favors fieldwork. By March 27, one-quarter to one-half of the corn had been planted in Texas (50%), Mississippi (46%), Louisiana (33%), and Arkansas (27%).
In the West, precipitation (rain and snow) is overspreading Washington, Oregon, and northwestern California. Across the remainder of California, producers are resuming fieldwork, following a protracted wet spell. Meanwhile, drought continues to worsen in parts of Arizona and New Mexico.
By mid-week, warmth will begin to expand across the West. During the weekend, warmth will reach the nation’s mid-section, with record-breaking high temperatures possible on the High Plains. Snow will begin to melt across the north-central U.S.
In contrast, chilly conditions will persist in the East. During the next 5 days, precipitation will be heaviest in the Northwest and the Southeast. In the latter region, 1- to 3-inch rainfall totals will provide some drought relief. Meanwhile, dry conditions will persist from southern California to the southern High Plains.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal temperatures across the Northern and Mid-Atlantic States, while warmer-than-normal weather will be confined to southern portions of the Rockies and Plains. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the U.S. will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in Florida, the southern half of the Plains, and the Southwest.