Across the Corn Belt, rain is maintaining soggy conditions in the lower Ohio Valley. Across the remainder of the Midwest, patches of light, wintry precipitation—mainly snow and freezing drizzle—are causing generally minor travel disruptions. Despite cloudiness, fog, and precipitation, Midwestern temperatures remain mostly above normal for this time of year.
On the Plains, windy weather is developing across Montana, further eroding winter wheat’s protective snow cover. Farther east, however, a deep snow cover remains in place across the eastern Dakotas, where most corn and sunflower harvest efforts have been stalled for the last 2 months. In southwestern Kansas and neighboring areas, winter wheat, rangeland, and pastures are benefiting as recent snowfall begins to melt.
In the South, widespread rain showers are overspreading the Tennessee Valley and parts of the Southeast. Meanwhile, cool, dry, breezy weather prevails in the western Gulf Coast region. Elsewhere, the Mississippi River at Natchez, Mississippi, crested 5.61 feet above flood stage on Thursday and has begun to slowly fall.
In the West, Pacific moisture continues to push inland toward the northern Rockies. Early Friday, heavy precipitation is falling in parts of western Washington. Mild, dry weather covers the remainder of the West, favoring winter fieldwork in California and the Desert Southwest.
A weather system crossing the eastern one-third of the country will reach the mid-Atlantic by Saturday and pass well east of New England on Sunday, with storm-total rainfall possibly topping an inch in parts of the Carolinas. Meanwhile, a new storm system will drive southeastward across the West during the weekend, accompanied by wind, rain, and snow. High-elevation snow, initially across the Northwest, will shift across the Intermountain West and central Rockies by early next week. Subsequently, snow may develop across the central Plains and spread northeastward. Farther south, rain should fall across the mid-South and lower Midwest. Record-setting warmth will develop early next week in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, while colder air will arrive across the Plains and upper Midwest.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of warmer- and wetter-than-normal weather across the East and parts of the northern Plains, while near- or below-normal temperatures will dominate the western and central U.S. Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions in the Rockies, as well as the northern and eastern U.S., should contrast with below-normal precipitation across California, the Desert Southwest, and the southern Plains.