Wednesday's weather map
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Across the Corn Belt, warmth lingers in the Ohio Valley, where rain is developing. In advance of an approaching storm system, the remainder of the Midwest is experiencing cold, breezy weather. Tuesday morning’s temperatures dipped below 0° in the far upper Midwest.

On the Plains, sub-zero temperatures were reported early Tuesday in parts of the eastern Dakotas, which remain deeply covered by snow. Meanwhile, patchy, light snow is falling on the central Plains. Mixed precipitation, including rain, freezing rain, and snow, is causing some travel disruptions on the southern Plains.

In the South, a significant rainfall event is underway across interior portions of the region, including the Tennessee Valley. Colder air is settling across the Ozark Plateau, but unusually warm weather prevails throughout the Southeast.

In the West, snow showers linger across the central and southern Rockies. Meanwhile, precipitation associated with a Pacific storm is approaching the Northwest. Between areas of storminess, cold, dry weather prevails. In fact, Freeze Warnings were in effect early Tuesday in a broad area stretching from California’s San Joaquin Valley into the Desert Southwest, possibly necessitating protective measures for citrus and other temperature-sensitive crops.

A complex storm system currently centered over Texas will drift northeastward, crossing the Tennessee Valley on Wednesday and reaching northern New England by Friday. The storm will be accompanied by a large temperature gradient, with cold air to the north and west contributing to a band of wintry precipitation—mostly snow—from the southern Plains to northern New England. Meanwhile, a heavy-rain event will unfold across the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, where 2- to 5-inch totals can be expected. Farther west, mid- to late-week precipitation will be occasionally heavy from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. In contrast, mostly dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from California to Arizona and in much of the upper Midwest.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures along and northwest of a line from northern Texas to Minnesota, while warmer-than-normal weather should prevail across the South, East, and lower Midwest. Meanwhile, below-normal precipitation in northern and central California, the Pacific Northwest, and parts of Florida will contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions in most other areas, including the Southwest, Plains, and Midwest.

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Greg Soulje, a professional meteorologist since 1985, offers national agricultural weather forecasts via "This Week in Agribusiness."