Across the Corn Belt, frigid, breezy conditions across the upper Midwest are resulting in low wind chill temperatures and an increase in livestock stress. Readings below -20° were reported in eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota, while temperatures dipped below 0° as far south as northern Missouri. Elsewhere, light snow is falling across much of the eastern Corn Belt, accompanied by blustery conditions and falling temperatures.
On the Plains, very cold, mostly dry weather prevails. A few patches of light snow are confined to the northern and central High Plains. Thursday morning’s low temperatures fell to near 0° as far south as northeastern Kansas and plunged below -20° in the Red River Valley of the North.
In the South, showers and thunderstorms stretch from the Appalachians southward to the Gulf Coast. Although rain has ended from the Mississippi Delta westward, extensive lowland flooding continues across a broad area. Minor to moderate flooding is being reported at well over 100 river gauges from northeastern Texas into the Tennessee and lower Mississippi Valleys. Flooding also persists in parts of the southern Atlantic coastal plain, following last week’s downpours.
In the West, warmth continues across much of California and has expanded to cover the Great Basin and parts of the interior Northwest. Chilly conditions linger, however, across the central and southern Rockies, following recent snowfall. In the Sierra Nevada, however, accumulating snow has not fallen in nearly a month, leaving the high-elevation snowpack less than 60% of the mid-February average.
Precipitation across the eastern one-third of the U.S. will largely end later Thursday. However, lowland flooding and muddy conditions will persist for several days, especially across the South. Meanwhile, weekend temperatures across the Plains, Midwest, and Northeast will start to rebound, following a sharp but short-lived cold outbreak. Temperatures will be slower to recover across the nation’s northern tier, where subsequent surges of cold air will arrive late in the weekend and early next week. Precipitation will return across the Northwest, starting later Thursday, and continue through the weekend. In contrast, dry weather will prevail during the next 5 days from central and southern California to the southern Plains. Early next week, snow will develop across the northern Plains and spread eastward across the nation’s northern tier.
Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of near- or below-normal temperatures in northern New England and west of the Mississippi River, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail in much of the East. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation across Florida, the northern half of the Plains, and much of the West should contrast with wetter-than-normal weather in the Pacific Northwest, southern sections of the Rockies and Plains, and most areas from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast.